Generally, when a person says they have pain in the lung, it means that they have pain in the chest area, this is because the lung has almost no pain receptors. Thus, although the pain is sometimes related to problems in the lungs, this pain may also be caused by problems in other organs, or even be related to the muscles or joints.
Ideally, whenever you experience any discomfort in the chest area, which does not improve over time, which worsens quickly or does not disappear after 24 hours, you go to a medical service for evaluation, request for tests when necessary and check for heart problems. .
The most common causes of lung pain are:
Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is characterized by inflammation of the pleura, which is the membrane that lines the lungs and the inside of the chest, which can cause symptoms such as pain in the chest and ribs when breathing deeply, coughing and difficulty breathing.
This problem usually arises due to the accumulation of fluid between the two layers of the pleura, being more frequent in people with respiratory problems, such as flu, pneumonia or lung infections.
What to do: whenever pleurisy is suspected, it is very important to go to a doctor or consult a pulmonologist to confirm the diagnosis and start the appropriate treatment. Treatment depends on the cause of the pleurisy, but the symptoms can be relieved with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, for example, prescribed by the doctor.
2. Respiratory infection
Lung infections, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia or COVID-19, can also cause chest pain, manifesting with symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, excess mucus production, coughing with or without blood, fever, chills and night sweats .
What to do: if a lung infection is suspected, you should immediately go to the doctor to prevent the problem from getting worse. Generally, initial treatment is done with antibiotics and other medications to relieve other symptoms.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that causes irritation and inflammation of the airways and in an attack situation, it can cause chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath and cough.
What to do: Asthma is usually treated with corticosteroids and bronchodilators, which are often used throughout life. In addition, there are other ways to prevent crises, such as not having animals in the house, keeping the house clean, avoiding carpets and curtains and staying away from smokers.
4. Pulmonary embolism
Also known as pulmonary thrombosis, it is an emergency situation that is characterized by the clogging of a blood vessel in the lung, usually due to a clot, which prevents the passage of blood, causing the progressive death of the affected region, resulting in pain when breathing and shortness of breath that starts suddenly and worsens with time. In addition, the amount of oxygen in the blood decreases, which causes the organs of the body to be affected by the lack of oxygen.
Embolism is more common in people who have had a thrombosis or have had recent surgery or have had to go a long time without moving.
What to do: the person who suffers from pulmonary embolism, must be assisted urgently and the treatment consists of the administration of injectable anticoagulants, such as heparin, for example, which will help to dissolve the clot, so that the blood circulates again. In addition, it may also be necessary to take painkillers, to relieve chest pain, and to perform other procedures depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.
5. Pulmonary atelectasis
Pulmonary atelectasis is characterized by a respiratory complication that prevents the necessary air passage, due to a collapse of the pulmonary alveoli, which usually occurs due to cystic fibrosis or tumors and lung lesions, resulting in intense difficulty in breathing, persistent cough and constant chest pain.
What to do: any changes that cause severe difficulty in breathing should be evaluated by a pulmonologist as soon as possible. So, the ideal is to go to the hospital. Treatment depends on the cause of pulmonary atelectasis and in more severe cases it may be necessary to resort to surgery to clear the airways or even remove the affected region of the lung.
6. Pulmonary emphysema
Pulmonary emphysema is a situation in which the lungs lose elasticity over time, which results in the destruction of the alveoli and the appearance of symptoms such as shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, chest pain, persistent cough and wheezing.
What to do: it is recommended to avoid staying in environments with a lot of smoke or pollutants, in addition to avoiding smoking, as they can aggravate symptoms. In addition, it is important that the pulmonologist is consulted so that the severity of the symptoms can be assessed and, thus, the most appropriate treatment can be indicated, which may involve the use of medications to dilate the structures of the lung and alleviate the symptoms.
Pneumothorax happens when the air escapes into the pleural space, which is the space between the lungs and the chest wall, increasing the pressure in the lungs and causing severe pain when breathing, feeling of shortness of breath, altered heartbeat and bluish skin, mainly fingers and lips.
What to do: it is important to go to the hospital immediately as soon as signs and symptoms of pneumothorax appear, as this way it is possible to identify the cause and start the most appropriate treatment, with a procedure usually being carried out to remove the excess air that has accumulated.
8. Heart problems
Some heart problems, such as heart attack, angina and arrhythmia can also cause severe chest pain, in addition to palpitations, swelling, excessive tiredness, faster breathing. In addition, in the case of infarction, it is common for chest pain to radiate to the arm, with a tingling sensation.
What to do: in these cases it is recommended to consult the cardiologist so that tests can be done to help identify the cardiac alteration and start the most appropriate treatment according to the cause of the heart problem.
9. Anxiety crisis
In situations of anxiety or panic attacks, some people may experience chest pain, as they breathe more quickly, which can lead to an imbalance between the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide, also causing dizziness, headache and difficulties in breathing. concentration.
What to do: a good way to try to decrease anxiety and relieve pain is to breathe into a paper bag for at least 5 minutes, trying to control your breathing. If the pain does not improve, it is advisable to go to the hospital.