What Could Cause Pain Under Left Breast When Taking a Deep Breath?
Pain under the left breast when taking a deep breath might be a cause for alarm. There are some vital organs in this area of your body, including your heart, left lung, spleen, and stomach. Further down, you have the pancreas and guts. So it is normal to panic if you feel any pain in this vital area. Pains are to tell us that something is wrong, isn’t it? But what exactly is wrong when you feel pain under your left breast each time you take a deep breath? Is it a sign of an impending heart attack? Could it be a serious situation? Is it an emergency? There are many questions you probably want to ask. Many of them would have been answered by the time you are through reading this article.
Pain under your left breast could mean different things. Many things could cause this to happen. Some of these are simple cases, while some others are serious. You can treat simple cases at home. But if it is a serious condition, you would need to call a doctor and get proper medical help. While digestive problems can cause pain under your left breast, they usually do not have to do with breathing. If the pain comes with deep breathing, then it is most likely a heart issue. This article talks about the different reasons why you may feel pain under your left breast while breathing deep.
Is It A Heart Attack?
The position of your heart is just slightly leftward, not far from the midline of your chest area. So if you feel pain under your left breast, it could be a sign that there is a heart problem.
The AHA (American Heart Association) says that the pain from a heart attack is usually at the center of a person’s heart chest. The pain typically protracts. It goes on for several minutes. Then it goes and returns as it gradually fades away.
With the way AHA describes pain due to a heart attack, it usually has nothing to do with deep breathing. So, if the pain that you feel does not have the characteristics we just described, then you most likely are not having a heart attack.
More so, a heart attack pain may cause severe crushing pressure or an uncomfortable squeezing sensation. Sometimes, it feels like an extremely painful heartburn. Again, none of these have anything to do with deep breathing. If you only feel the pain when you take a deep breath, it is most likely not a heart attack.
Some people can have a heart attack without feeling any pain whatsoever. Some experience only mild pain in their chest. That is why many advise that you should seek medical help if you ever have unexplainable chest pain. You can’t be too careful with your heart, right?
If you are a woman, you are advanced in age, or you have diabetes, never joke with any chest pain. You may not feel any serious chest pain if you are having a heart attack.
A few other symptoms that may mean you are having a heart attack are as follows:
- Profuse sweating
- Vomiting or nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Weak, heavy arms or shoulders
- Severe pain that travels from your chest to your arm, neck, jaw, or back.
- Severe anxiety or sense of impending doom
If you suspect that you are having a heart attack, you should immediately call for an ambulance. Rest as you wait for the ambulance. And if your body tolerates aspirin, take an adult dose (300 mg).
Causes of Pain under Left Breast When Taking a Deep Breath
Since we have said that chest pain that comes with a deep breath may not be a heart attack pain, then what is it? It could be either of the following cond
A layered membrane usually surrounds your lungs. The name of this membrane is ‘the pleura’.
Inflammation in the pleura that surrounds your left lung may cause pain under your left breast when you take a deep breath. This condition is called pleurisy.
Infections may cause pleurisy. There are a few other possible causes too, which may be severe. They include lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Sharp pain under your breath during deep breathing is the major symptom that people with pleurisy feel. Other accompanying symptoms are as follows:
- Pain in your shoulder
- Dry cough
- Short breathing
- The pain usually gets worse with walking around, coughing, or sneezing.
To treat pleurisy, you must treat the root cause. However, you should make out quality time to rest. You may also feel some relief when you lie on your left side. However, if the chest pain is severe, you should immediately seek medical treatment.
Your heart is also surrounded by a membrane. The membrane is thin and filled with fluid. It is thin and layered too. It is known as the pericardium.
The pericardium can get inflamed as a result of infection or some forms of autoimmune disorder. It usually happens suddenly and is therefore called acute pericarditis. Common symptoms are as follows:
- Sharp, stab-like pain under your left breast (sometimes the pain could be in your chest)
- Shoulder pain (This may affect only one shoulder or both)
- The pain worsens whenever you breathe deeply
- The pain may also worsen when you lie down on your back
- Feeling hot, feverish, sweaty, and light-headed
- Difficulty breathing
If you suspect pericarditis, you should begin immediate treatment. OTC anti-inflammatory drugs can help treat the condition. But if the pain is quite severe, you should call your doctor’s attention.
You should always seek medical attention for unexplainable pain under your left breast. If the pain is sudden and severe, then it may be an emergency. You should immediately call for an ambulance.
Other indications of an emergency are as follows:
- A previous diagnosis of a heart problem
- Pressure or tightness in your chest
- Sweating comes with the pain
- Pain comes with nausea and difficulty breathing
- Chest injury
Pain under left breast, when taking a deep breath, is most likely from pleurisy or pericarditis. Generally, it is not a cause for alarm except the pain gets severe. It could also be a cause for alarm if you experience any typical symptoms of a heart attack. This is, however, quite unlikely.