Left Chest Pain: 15 Causes and When to Seek Emergency Help 



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If you feel discomfort on the left side of your chest, your initial reaction might be to worry that you’re having a heart attack. It is not always the case that chest pain is an indication of heart disease or a heart attack, despite the fact that this is sometimes the case.

Continue reading to discover more about the reasons for pain on the left side of the chest, what the possible accompanying symptoms could be, and some suggestions for what you could do to treat each of these conditions.

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When to seek emergency help

Pain or heaviness in the chest is a common symptom that should raise concerns about a potential heart attack or another potentially fatal ailment in which every minute counts. If you or someone close to you is experiencing inexplicable left-sided or generalized chest discomfort coupled with the following symptoms, you should call 911 or your local emergency services immediately:

pain going down the left arm left side of the neck and left side of the jaw that is particularly troubling feeling as though there is pressure or tightness in the chest having difficulty breathing

symptoms including a lack of strength, lightheadedness, and dizziness

nausea or vomiting

heavy feeling in the chest

Left sided chest pain causes

Pain on the left side of the chest can be caused by a number of different diseases. They can be completely harmless or pose a serious risk to one’s life. If you have any reason to suspect that the discomfort you are experiencing on the left side of your chest may not be caused by something minor, you should contact emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.

The following are some of the most common reasons for chest pain on the left side.

1. Angina

Angina isn’t an illness. However, this illness is typically an indication of coronary heart disease, but it is possible that other cardiac problems could also cause it to arise. Pain in the chest, a heavy feeling in the chest, discomfort, or pressure in the chest are all symptoms of angina, which occurs when the heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen from the blood. Your left arm, your left shoulder, the left side of your neck, and the left side of your jaw are the main locations affected by the pain and discomfort. It’s also possible that you’re experiencing pain in your back.

It is absolutely essential that the underlying problem be correctly recognized and treated in a timely manner. The following are some examples of diagnostic tests:

blood tests

stress test using an electrocardiogram (EKG)

a cardiac catheterization along with echocardiography and an angiogram

The treatment will be determined by the underlying reason, and it may involve medication, adjustments to lifestyle, and surgical treatments on the heart, if necessary.

2. Heart attack

A heart attack occurs when the muscle of the heart is injured as a result of a lack of adequate blood supply that is rich in oxygen. Some people experience modest chest pain at first, but it gradually worsens into a heart attack. It’s also possible for them to come on suddenly, beginning with a severe discomfort on the left side or in the middle of your chest. Other signs of a heart attack may include the following, according to the following trusted source:

chest pain that feels like it’s being compressed, squeezed, or crushing pain in your left arm, though it can also occur in your right arm pain that shoots through your neck, jaw, back, or stomach shortness of breath heartburn, nausea, or vomiting pain that shoots through your neck, jaw, back, or stomach

a feeling of faintness, lightheadedness, or dizziness

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Heart attack symptoms in women

Individuals can experience a wide variety of symptoms when they are having a heart attack. Pain or discomfort in the chest, gassiness or heartburn, shortness of breath, and pain or discomfort in the shoulders, arms, neck, or jaw are all symptoms that can be experienced by either men or women. On the other hand, women are more likely to encounter the following according to a trusted source:

symptoms including extreme fatigue, nausea, and lightheadedness

If you or someone close to you is experiencing these symptoms, you should get medical assistance as soon as possible. Every second matters when someone is having a heart attack. If the heart muscle continues to be deprived of oxygen for a longer period of time, there is a greater likelihood that the damage will be irreversible.

As soon as medical professionals arrive, it will be possible to begin providing immediate care. It is possible that you will need to continue taking medication after your stay in the hospital. Modifications to one’s way of life may include:

a diet that is good for the heart, some physical activity every day, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking

3. Myocarditis

Myocarditis is an uncommon kind of heart inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular illness. It is caused by an infection in the heart muscle. When physicians are able to determine a cause, it is almost always a viral infection, but there are times when they are unable to do so.

Pain in the chest is one of the symptoms that can indicate inflammation of the heart muscle. Among the other symptoms are:

a feeling of difficulty breathing

irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) tiredness

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can impair the electrical system of the heart, resulting in either a weakened heart or irreversible damage to the heart muscle. In certain circumstances, a person may go into cardiac arrest or perhaps pass away.

In certain circumstances, treatment is not necessary for mild illnesses, but medication may be necessary for more severe ones. Treatment is determined by the underlying cause.

4. Cardiomyopathy

A condition that affects the heart muscle or an enlarged heart is referred to as cardiomyopathy. It is possible to have cardiomyopathy without any symptoms, however, the condition can also produce discomfort in the chest. Other symptoms may include the following, according to a reliable source:

a feeling of difficulty breathing

symptoms such as lightheadedness, fainting, or heart palpitations

swelling in your ankles, feet, legs, hands, or abdomen might be a symptom of weariness.

The treatment consists of the administration of medication, various cardiac treatments, and surgical operations. Alterations to one’s way of life can also be of assistance. These may include the following:

lowering one’s sodium consumption

Keeping your weight at a healthy, reasonable level

avoiding alcohol

Regularly engaging in physical activity of light to moderate intensity

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5. Pericarditis

The two very thin layers of tissue that surround your heart and serve to keep it in place are referred to as the pericardium. The condition known as pericarditis occurs when this region of the heart becomes inflamed or irritated.

Pain that is described as being like needles being stabbed into your chest can be a symptom of pericarditis. You could possibly be experiencing pain in either or both of your shoulders.

Pericarditis is a condition that can develop as a result of infections, cardiac surgery, a heart attack, an injury, or even the medications you use.

Even while it may be moderate and even go away on its own, it can sometimes progress to heart problems that can be fatal. In rare cases, it may even cause death. The appropriate treatment will be determined by the underlying reason.

6. Panic attack

A condition that affects the heart muscle or an enlarged heart is referred to as cardiomyopathy. It is possible to have cardiomyopathy without any symptoms, however, the condition can also produce discomfort in the chest. Other symptoms may include the following, according to a reliable source:

a feeling of difficulty breathing

symptoms such as lightheadedness, fainting, or heart palpitations

swelling in your ankles, feet, legs, hands, or abdomen might be a symptom of weariness.

The treatment consists of the administration of medication, various cardiac treatments, and surgical operations. Alterations to one’s way of life can also be of assistance. These may include the following:

lowering one’s sodium consumption

Keeping your weight at a healthy, reasonable level

avoiding alcohol

Regularly engaging in physical activity of a light to moderate intensity

How to ease a panic atack

The mental health condition known as the panic disorder is one that responds well to treatment. Your primary care physician may suggest that you participate in psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. There are certain drugs that could be of assistance in the event that this is an ongoing issue.

You might find the following helpful in easing the symptoms of a panic attack:

practice stress management and relaxation strategies

Participate in a support group, abstain from caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs of abuse, and recreational substances.

Participate inconsistent forms of physical activity.

make sure you receive a full night’s sleep every night

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7. Heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD

The discomfort and soreness in the chest that is known as heartburn is caused by the backward migration of stomach acid into the esophagus (acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux).

a searing sensation in your upper belly and chest, a sour or metallic taste in your mouth, and a tingling sensation in your arms and legs.

the sensation of contents of the stomach rising to the back of the neck

Having heartburn typically occurs not long after you have finished eating. It is also possible for it to occur if you lie down within a few hours of having eaten something. It is even capable of rousing you from a deep sleep.

In some cases, acid reflux can develop into a more serious condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (GERD). Frequent episodes of heartburn are GERD’s most prominent symptom. In addition to pain in the chest, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also produce other symptoms such as coughing, breathing, and difficulty swallowing.

Treating heartburn

Antacids, which are available without a prescription, are typically effective in relieving heartburn symptoms. In extreme cases, a doctor may recommend a drug with a higher dosage. If you suffer from regular heartburn, the following may be of use to you:

eat smaller meals

Steer clear of fried and greasy foods.

Eat carefully and avoid consuming alcohol and smoke.

Keep your weight at a healthy, reasonable level.

Avoid eating anything within three hours of going to sleep.

Stay away from any other meals that could possibly set off your allergic reaction.

8. Hiatal hernia

When the top portion of your stomach protrudes through the big muscle that lies between your abdomen and chest, this is known as a hiatal hernia (diaphragm). Symptoms may include the following:

ache in the chest and the abdomen

Regurgitation of food into your mouth as a result of heartburn

You may get relief from your problems by:

eating smaller meals

avoiding foods that are known to cause acid reflux

avoiding lying down immediately after a meal and raising the head of your bed are both recommended.

It’s possible that you won’t need any therapy at all, but if the symptoms continue, you should consult a doctor.

9. Problems with your esophagus

Pain in the chest is one of the symptoms that can indicate a problem with the oesophagus. Take, for instance:

A spasm in the muscles of the esophagus can cause chest pain that is quite similar to that of a heart attack.

Burning or stabbing pain in the chest might be a symptom of esophagitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. Pain following meals, difficulty swallowing, and the presence of blood in the vomit or stools are all possible symptoms of esophagitis.

If you have a tear or rupture in your esophagus, food can get into your chest cavity and cause you to have mild to severe chest pain. It is also possible to experience nausea, vomiting, and fast breathing as a result of it.

Treatment is determined by the underlying cause. A surgical repair is required in the event of an esophageal rupture.

10. Pulled muscles and chest wall injuries

Muscles in the chest or in the space between the ribs that have been pulled, strained, or sprained might be the source of chest pain. Pain in the chest can be caused by a variety of chest injuries. These are the following:

bruises on the chest wall a shattered sternum (breastbone) fractured ribs

When you take a big breath or cough, you may also experience pain because of this sort of injury.

Visit a physician as soon as possible if you suspect that you may have broken a bone. It could take around ten weeks for things to start getting better, and it might take even longer for some to fully heal. You will need to refrain from engaging in physically demanding activities for the time being.

11. Collapsed lung

A collapsed lung could be the cause of the sudden and severe discomfort that you are experiencing on either side of your chest (pneumothorax). There are a number of conditions that might cause this, including trauma to the chest or sickness. Additional symptoms may include the following:

symptoms include difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, or quick heartbeat, skin becoming blue, dry cough, and exhaustion

The treatment you receive will be determined by the underlying reason; however, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

12. Pneumonia

Pain in the chest that is jagged or stabbing and gets worse when you cough or take a deep breath could be a sign of pneumonia. This is especially true if you have recently been diagnosed with another respiratory illness such as bronchitis or the flu.

Other possible symptoms include the following:

a hacking cough, which may or may not be accompanied by mucus; fever; chills; or shaking; shortness of breath; headache;

lack of hunger and appetite

fatigue

If you suspect you could have pneumonia, you should see a doctor. For the time being, it is important that you get a lot of rest and drink a lot of water. Antibiotics or antiviral medication may be recommended by your physician. In extreme circumstances, admission to a hospital can be required.

13. Lung cancer

Lung cancer may occasionally be accompanied by the feeling of chest pain. Other signs and symptoms can include the following:

a severe cough that produces mucus or blood, pain in the shoulder or back that is separate from the pain caused by coughing, shortness of breath, recurrent bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia, and intense coughing are all symptoms of a serious case of pneumonia or bronchitis.

a decrease in appetite or a loss of weight for no apparent reason

In its earlier stages, lung cancer may not yet manifest any symptoms. In most cases, the sooner a diagnosis is made and treatment is started, the better the patient’s prognosis will be.

14. Pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is when your lungs have abnormally high blood pressure. In addition to discomfort in the chest, it may also cause:

symptoms such as lightheadedness or fainting, fatigue, or difficulty breathing

As the disease continues, it can cause the heartbeat to become irregular, as well as the pulse to speed up. In the absence of treatment, it can result in heart failure.

15. Pulmonary embolism

Pain in the chest that comes on suddenly and is very severe may be a symptom of pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a clot in the lung. Other possible symptoms include the following:

back pain

lightheadedness

a bluish cast to the lips, profuse perspiration, and dizziness

choking up and feeling short of breath

This is a critical medical situation that requires immediate attention from a medical professional.

Conclusion

There are a number of illnesses that can share the symptom of chest pain. Talk to your primary care physician if you experience chest pain for no apparent reason so that you can get the diagnostic process underway.

Pain in the chest that comes on suddenly and is accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a feeling of pressure on the chest, or dizziness may indicate a potentially life-threatening emergency. Get assistance as soon as possible.



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