What Causes Chest Pain Made Worse By Breathing?
Chest pain made worse by breathing can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'life-threatening'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose chest pain made worse by breathing, we could:
- Research the topic
- Find a doctor with the time
- Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.
Step 1: List all Possible Causes
We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "chest pain made worse by breathing" as a symptom. Here are six possibilities:
- Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Lupus (SLE)
- Possible Urgent Medical Need
Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist
We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
rapid pulse rate
recent dry cough
recent productive cough
history of seizures
severe chest pain
pain when breathing
major fatigue for over 12 months
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
... and more than 40 others
Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause
A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of chest pain made worse by breathing:
|Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
|Possible Urgent Medical Need
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis
is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.
If you experience chest pain, how is it affected by breathing?
→ Don't know
→ The pain is unrelated to breathing
→ It is worse only when I breathe in deeply
→ It is worse only when I breathe out deeply
→ It is worse when I breathe in or out
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either chest pain unaffected by breathing or chest pain when breathing, The Analyst™
will consider possibilities such as:
A Potentially Urgent Medical Need
|The sensation of a "catch" at the end of a deep breath is clinically important as a symptom of pulmonary embolism (a clot to the lung). This requires immediate evaluation by a physician.|Pleurisy
|The hallmark of pleurisy is severe chest pain that starts suddenly. Often strong or stabbing when taking a deep breath or coughing, the pain usually subsides or disappears between breaths, and it is usually felt on one side of the stomach area or lower chest.|Pneumonia
|The pain of lobar pneumonia often begins as a general sense of pressure and aching, usually localized to one side of the chest. The pain begins around the time of the chills heralding the onset of the infection. Later, as the process affects the pleura (tissues around the lung), pleuritic pain develops. Patients with atypical pneumonia or bronchopneumonia may complain of a central burning sensation provoked by coughing.|