By Nikhil Ambatkar | 29th Apr 2022
Chest pain when coughing, also known as cough with chest pain, refers to the discomfort or pain experienced in the chest area when coughing. It can be a distressing symptom that may arise from various underlying causes.
One common cause of chest pain while coughing is respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia. In these cases, the cough in chest irritates the airways and causes pain or soreness in the chest.
Additionally, a cough on chest can be associated with musculoskeletal issues. Strained muscles or chest wall inflammation can cause pain that worsens with coughing.
It is essential to differentiate cough in chest from more severe conditions like a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, which may present with similar symptoms. If the chest pain is severe, immediate medical attention should be sought.
Also read: Top 10 Cough Syrup for Dry Cough
A dry cough is when you cough, but nothing like mucus or phlegm comes up. It’s a cough that feels irritating and stays in your throat. Unlike a cough that brings up mucus, a dry cough doesn’t help clear your airways. It can be bothersome because you keep coughing, but it doesn’t make you feel better.
A dry cough is a cough on chest without any mucus or phlegm coming up. It’s often caused by irritation or inflammation in your throat or airways, like allergies or a viral infection.
On the other hand, a wet cough is a cough in chest and mucus, or phlegm, comes up from your lungs or airways. This kind of cough can happen with a respiratory infection, like a cold or bronchitis. A dry cough in chest can be irritating and uncomfortable, while a wet cough can help clear your airways by removing mucus.
Dry cough in chest is characterised by specific symptoms that differentiate it from other coughs. These symptoms include:
When you have a cold or the flu, it’s common to experience wet coughs and clear mucus from your airways. However, you may continue to have a dry cough even after recovering from the illness. This dry cough on chest can be persistent and irritating without producing much mucus.
Some typical causes of dry cough include:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) covers chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In COPD, persistent inflammation and damage to the airways lead to coughing and chest pain. The chronic irritation and constriction of the airways can cause distress and tightness in the chest, making coughing more pronounced.
Asthma is a long-lasting respiratory condition characterised by inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Coughing is a common asthma symptom, often accompanied by wheezing and shortness of breath. The persistent coughing associated with asthma can strain the chest muscles, leading to chest pain.
Also read: Tips to prevent asthma attacks
Acute bronchitis, typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection, can trigger a cough with chest pain. The infection and inflammation in the bronchial tubes and throat can lead to persistent coughing and discomfort in the chest. Other throat infections, such as strep throat or viral infections like the common cold, can cause a cough with accompanying chest pain.
Pneumonia is an infection that causes lung inflammation, primarily affecting the air sacs. Along with symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing, and fever, pneumonia can cause chest pain. The infection and inflammation in the lung tissues can trigger sharp or stabbing chest pain during coughing or deep breathing.
Infections affecting the pleural tissues surrounding the lungs, such as pleural effusion, can lead to coughing and sharp chest pain. Pleurisy refers to the inflammatory condition of the pleura, which are delicate membranes that envelop the lungs and chest cavity. The pain may worsen during coughing or deep breathing. Pleural effusion is the fluid buildup in the pleural space, causing coughing and discomfort in the chest.
Persistent and forceful coughing can strain the chest muscles, leading to muscle exhaustion and subsequent chest pain. It is commonly observed in individuals with a chronic cough or repeated episodes of intense coughing. The continuous strain on the chest muscles during coughing can result in soreness and discomfort in the chest region.
In some cases, persistent cough with accompanying chest pain may indicate lung cancer. Lung tumours can cause irritation, inflammation, and airway obstruction, leading to chronic coughing and chest pain. If you experience persistent cough, chest pain, or other symptoms, seeking medical evaluation for a proper diagnosis is crucial.
COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, can present with symptoms such as cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The infection primarily affects the respiratory system, causing inflammation and respiratory distress. Chest pain associated with COVID-19 may occur due to inflammation and damage to the lung tissues.
Most of the time, dry cough on chest goes away independently if you have strong immunity. However, the treatment for chest pain when coughing depends on the underlying cause and seriousness of the condition. It is essential to consult with a doctor for proper diagnosis and guidance.
Home remedies can provide relief for chronic cough. Some home remedies that may help alleviate chronic cough include:
You can take several measures to prevent a dry cough in chest.
Practice good respiratory hygiene
If your dry cough in chest persists for more than two weeks or worsens over time, seeking medical attention is essential. Additionally, if your cough on chest is accompanied by severe shortness of breath or wheezing, it could indicate an underlying respiratory condition.
If you notice blood in your cough or sputum, seeing a doctor immediately is essential, as it could indicate a severe underlying condition. Moreover, a high fever accompanying your dry cough may indicate an infection requiring medical treatment.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can relieve cough and chest pain. Here are some standard OTC options:
Cough in chest can be a distressing symptom, but it is essential to remember that it can have various causes, ranging from minor irritations to more serious underlying conditions. Understanding the potential causes and seeking appropriate medical evaluation is vital for proper diagnosis and treatment.
While home remedies and over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief, consulting a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalised treatment plan is always recommended.
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Frequently asked questions
The three common bronchitis symptoms are cough, often producing mucus or phlegm, chest discomfort or tightness, and shortness of breath.
It is not always necessary to use antibiotics for a chest infection, as most chest infections are caused by viruses, which are resistent to antibiotics. However, bacterial chest infections may require antibiotic treatment.
A productive cough with mucus or phlegm is commonly associated with pneumonia.
Persistent coughing can impact the heart, increasing the workload on the heart and leading to strain.
A cough can be a sign of heart failure, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and inflammation in the legs or ankles.
A cardiac cough is often characterised as wet, as the production of foamy or pink-tinged sputum may accompany it.
To determine if a cough is due to a chest infection, a medical evaluation by a doctor is necessary, which may include a physical examination, chest X-ray, and other diagnostic tests.
Medications such as expectorants or mucolytics can effectively relieve a chesty cough by helping to thin and loosen mucus in the airways.
A cough related to coronavirus can cause chest pain or discomfort, among other respiratory symptoms. It is essential to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have COVID-19 or are experiencing severe symptoms.
Some home remedies to relieve a tight chest and cough are using honey, steam inhalation, drinking warm fluids, and garaging salt water.
The content provided within this article has been thoroughly verified for accuracy. However, we advise consulting a healthcare professional before utilising any medication or dietary supplements mentioned herein.
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