Diseases & Side Effects Health

Shortness Of Breath And Tightness In Chest – All Possible Causes

Pain or tightness or heaviness in the chest coupled with shortness of breath is something that is very common. Generally, people relate this condition to a possible heart attack. The heart attack may be one of the many possible outcomes of this condition. In many cases, this may be a symptom of anxiety. Indigestion may also be one of the causes of this condition. However, there may be some very serious diseases related to this condition.


The diversity of reasons that may cause shortness of breath and tightness in chest, makes it so important to have an immediate medical assistance to avoid any serious happening. It is therefore imperative that everyone must have at least a minimum possible knowledge of this condition so that it may not end up in a surprise situation. Here we will provide basic information on all possible causes of shortness of breath and tightness in chest.

It May Be Heart Attack

Pain in chest and shortness of breath are two of the most common symptoms of a heart attack, though it is not necessary that this condition is certainly the symptom of a heart attack; it may be something else as well.

However, generally, if you feel tightness in the chest along with shortness of breath, pain in the arms and jaws and dizziness, you are most likely to be a victim of heart disease. Heart diseases, characterized by these symptoms are of different natures, which are explained below.

Aortic Dissection

In this case, the aortic wall gets torn, resulting in sharp pain in the chest and back. The patient feels it difficult to breathe. This is a high-risk emergency case, which may lead to death within a short span of time.

heart attack

Arterial Blockage

In this case, blood vessels are blocked due to cholesterol or buildup of plaque. This is angina and the affected person should immediately be taken to the hospital, as it is also a high-risk case of a heart attack.


This is a case of infiltration of the membrane of heart. This may be due to viral or bacterial infection.

It May Be Breathing Disease

As mentioned earlier, chest pain and shortness of breath may not necessarily be a heart problem; it may also be a cause of breathing problems. Some of these are explained below.


When the membrane of lungs gets inflamed, this condition is known as Pleurisy that results in severe chest pain, pain in the thoracic area along with difficulty in breathing.


This is a very common breathing disease. A person suffering from asthma may have a severe chest pain with difficulty in breathing.


Pulmonary Embolism

This is the condition where a blood clot appears in the blood vessels that are responsible for supplying blood to the lungs. In this situation patient also faces chest pain and shortness of breath.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Abbreviated as COPD, this disease may be the viral or bacterial infection, badly affecting the respiratory system thus making it difficult for the patient to breathe. Chest pain is also associated with a condition very common in smokers.


This is another very common disease that is characterized by shortness of breath and chest pain.

It May Be Anxiety

Anxiety or the anticipation of a fear or danger may also result in severe chest pain and shortness of breath. Anxiety leads to the reaction of the human body to make it prepared for a possible danger. In this situation, heartbeat and breathing rate is increased so much that the patient feels chocked.

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It also results in severe chest pain, excessive sweating and dizziness. Sometimes the patient also feels an emptiness in the chest area. This condition is often confused with the symptoms of heart attack, whereas this can simply be controlled with some relaxation techniques. However, don’t take the risk, do consult the physician when experiencing such condition.

It May Be Something Else

Shortness of breath and chest pain may also be a cause of something other than anxiety, heart or a breathing disease. Some of those may be:

  • Trauma in the chest region may also result in shortness of breath and pain in the chest.
  • Injured muscles or tendons or nerves of the chest may also cause the similar condition.

Trauma in the chest

  • Very intense exercise or physical exertion may also cause chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • This may be another reason behind the chest pain and shortness of breath, especially with the allergic reactions in the respiratory system.

If you are suffering from any digestive problem such as heartburn or problems with gallbladder or you have an ulcer, you may often face these symptoms


Since it is a difficult ask for a common man to identify what type of disease it may be, when feeling chest pain and shortness of breath, it is very important to have an immediate medical assistance, especially under these circumstances.

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pale or blue skin.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Higher heart beat rate.
  • Headache.
  • Cough.
  • Feverishness, chills and tremors.
  • Fainting.
  • Pain in arms, jaws or shoulders.

This article is just for your information, TryArticles is not authorized to prescribe a medical treatment or diagnose a disease. We highly recommend you to visit your doctor in case you have any kind of condition or pain.

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