Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What Can Cause Chest Tightness And Cough?

Chest Tightness is a condition in which an individual feels a sensation that the chest has become constricted which makes it difficult for the individual to breathe. When chest tightness occurs along with cough then it is a clear signal of a problem with the lungs of an individual. The problem with the lungs may be chronic or acute resulting in irritation of the lungs leading to chest tightness and cough.

What Can Cause Chest Tightness And Cough?

The lungs are made up of a number of airways called bronchioles or air sacs which ultimately terminate into the alveoli. Any problem with the air sacs or the alveoli results in lung irritation causing chest tightness and coughing. Some of the common lung infections that may cause chest tightness and cough are:

Acute Bronchitis: This is a condition characterized by a viral infection affecting the airways. Acute bronchitis causes the airways to get inflamed causing an individual to have a dry cough along with chest tightness. The affected individual may also experience symptoms of low grade fever. This is a condition which goes way on its own within a span of two to three weeks.

Pneumonia: This is a pathological condition of the lungs characterized by infection of the air sacs which leads to accumulation of pus and fluid within the air sacs. This is what causes chest tightness, persistent productive cough and shortness of breath in the individual. The primary treatment for pneumonia is a course of antibiotics and rest to relieve the symptoms of chest tightness and cough.

Asthma: This is a chronic lung infection which often causes chest tightness with cough. Asthma causes swelling and inflammation of the airways causing shortness of breath with chest tightness and cough. The symptoms of asthma come and go and are referred to as asthma attacks. The frontline treatment for asthma involves avoidance of triggers and use of inhalers in case of an asthma attack.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Also known as COPD, this is quite a common lung ailment characterized by damage to the air sacs of the lungs. This causes the air sacs to become narrow causing chest tightness, cough, and shortness of breath. Chronic tobacco use is the primary cause for the development of COPD. Medications and lifestyle modifications are the frontline treatment for COPD.

Other than the causes mentioned above, there are also other causes which may cause chest tightness with cough. These causes are:

Pulmonary Fibrosis: This is a condition caused by scarring of lungs due to unknown causes lungs

Sarcoidosis: This is a condition characterized by accumulation of granulomatous tissue in the lungs causing chest tightness and cough.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 5, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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