Chest Discomfort

A discomfort in the chest may panic you, especially when you are above 50 years of age. Chest discomfort can be a warning sign of heart attack. However, every discomfort you feel on the chest does not imply a heart attack. Here is the detailed information on chest discomforts and the precautions you should know.

What can be chest discomfort?

Chest pain or discomfort can occur anywhere between the neck and abdomen although the commonly it occurs at the chest part. Chest pain can be a sharp, dull, tight, squeezing or aching sensation.

What causes chest discomfort?

A pain or discomfort in the chest can occur due to a variety of reasons. Many of the heart related ailments have chest discomfort as a major symptom. Here goes the common causes related to heart:


Angina is condition of intense chest pain when the heart muscles do not get enough oxygenated blood. The patient may feel discomfort as heaviness or tightness in the chest. Pain or discomfort in shoulders, arms, neck, back or jaw is also categorized as angina pain. It is one of the major symptoms of coronary artery disease.

Heart attack

Heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction. Chest discomfort is the most common symptom of heart attack. In such type of chest discomfort, the patient will get a very heavy pressure feeling in the chest. The discomfort or pain may spread to the upper part of the body, jaws, arms etc. This type chest discomfort is mostly experienced by women before the arrival of heart attack.


This condition of heart muscle inflammation can produce chest discomfort or pain similar to that of a heart attack. The patient will experience shortness or trouble in breathing, fever, dizziness, and fatigue along with the pain.

Other reasons

There are many more heart related ailments that can lead to a chest discomfort. It includes valve stenosis, valve regurgitation, mitral valve prolapse, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Pericarditis etc. Moreover, lung diseases and certain conditions may also tempt chest discomfort. Lung related issues like pneumonia, plueritis, asthma, etc can cause sudden chest discomfort.

Heart attack and symptoms

Most of the chest pain does not hint heart attack. If the chest discomfort is associated with heart attack, you may probably show other symptoms of heart attack as well. See the symptoms of heart attack here:

  • Pain spreading to the shoulder, arms, back, neck, etc.
  • Pressure, tightness, squeezing or aching sensation in the chest
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Nausea, light-headedness etc.
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in the abdomen

When should you visit doctor?

You need to take immediate medical attention without leaving a second if you develop the above mentioned symptoms along with mild chest discomfort.

You need to consult with the doctor if you observe these symptoms as it may be hinting a possible heart attack.

  • Unusual fatigue or sweating
  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical exercise
  • A pain in the back, neck or the jaw

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