If you feel pain in the left side of your chest, you probably think that there is some problem with your heart or that you may even have a heart attack. It is true that such a kind of pain may indicate a heart-related problem, but actually it is only one option out of many.
Keep reading and find out what the most common causes of pain in left side of chest are, when you should seek medical help immediately, and when you can try to deal with the matter on your own.
When to Seek Medical Help
First of all, it needs to be clarified that it happens that pain in the left side of chest indicates a heart attack or some other potentially life-threatening condition, which requires immediate medical help. In such a situation, however, pain in the left side of chest is usually accompanied by other typical symptoms.
Other symptoms which should be alarming for you include the feeling of tightening or pressure in your chest or pain in the left side which radiates to your neck, arm, jaw, abdomen, or back. Having breathing difficulties, feeling suddenly weak, dizzy, or lightheaded may also indicate a heart attack. You can also experience vomiting and nausea.
Pain in the left side of chest might be an indication of a serious medical disorder, but as you will read in a moment, its cause may also be benign and easily curable.
Pain in Left Side of Chest – The Most Common Causes
There is a number of causes of pain in left side of chest. Some of them require immediate medical help while others may go away on their own or be cured with simple home remedies. In case of pain in left side of chest it is important to observe the accompanying symptoms too as they may often tell you more about the culprit of your problem.
1. Heart Attack
A heart attack means that your heart does not get enough blood which is rich in oxygen. A heart attack may cause various symptoms and people who experienced it, often describe it in a different way. Therefore, pain may be mild at the beginning and then slowly build up. It may also appear suddenly and start very intensely.
In case of a heart attack the pain often radiates to your arm, neck, jaw, stomach, or even back. You may also experience the feeling of squeezing or tightening in your chest. The sufferer is often short of breath, feels dizzy, lightheaded, or weak.
The pain is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, or heartburn. If you or any person close to you experiences some of these symptoms, it is crucial to call for an ambulance. Remember that in case of a heart attack, every second matters as the longer your heart is deprived of oxygen, the greater damage it will cause to your organism.
2. Panic Attack
A panic attack may happen to you if you have been under a lot of stress recently, you have experienced some trauma or you have been dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other mental disorder. A panic attack may happen quite suddenly or you may feel that it is about to happen. Its symptoms very often simulate a heart attack.
Panic attack often causes chest pain, quick heartbeat, and shortness of breath. You may also start to sweat, have chills, or have the impression that you are about to choke. You can feel dizzy, weak, or experience the unexplained fear.
As you can’t be sure if what you suffer from is either a panic attack or heart attack, you should always seek medical help if you experience the above described symptoms. Experiencing panic attacks is a mental problem and psychotherapy is usually the only way to get rid of the problem.
You should not try to deal with it only on your own, but for sure you can support a professional therapy with relaxation techniques, joining a support group, and staying away from drugs and alcohol as they bring only a temporary relief. Do not forget about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep, doing sports regularly, and having a social life.
Pain in the left side of your chest may be a sign of pneumonia. It is especially probable if you have had some illness of a respiratory system, which maybe has not been fully cured or you have ignored it.
The main symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain accompanied by cough, often with mucus. You may also start to feel bad, for example, you may experience sudden fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, headaches, or shortness of breath. People who suffer from pneumonia also experience a fever or chills.
Pneumonia requires medical help and the therapy with antibiotics. You need to treat the condition seriously and have a plenty of rest and drink a lot of water. In some cases, pneumonia requires hospitalization.
Angina is not a throat problem, as many people tend to think, but a sign that there is some problem with your heart. If you suffer from angina, you will experience pain and discomfort in your chest, which may also spread to your jaw, neck, shoulders, back, or arms.