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Sudden sharp pain in chest after taking gulp of aerated drinks. Should I be concerned?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 255 Questions
Today, while drinking some pepsi, I took a huge gulp down. I had a sharp pain in the chest and then when I woke up, I was told that I had passed out for about a minute. This also happened once before about 10 years ago and I remember that even in that occasion it happened after I had taken a large gulp of an aerated drink. Is this a cause for concern? I feel fine now and there doesn't seem to be any after effects. Thanks in advance.
Posted Thu, 31 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 1 hour later
Hi dear,

At outset, I would advise you to completely stop taking gulp of aerated drinks, and for that matter any other drink. When drinks sort of tend to enter airway, it causes spasm of it suddenly. That can make you pass out briefly. 1 minute is likely to be an over estimation. If you have no other symptoms, and both events have occurred under same circumstances, no concern or cause to worry.

Hope I have cleared your doubts.

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Follow-up: Sudden sharp pain in chest after taking gulp of aerated drinks. Should I be concerned? 3 hours later
Thank you for your prompt reply...
Can you please tell me what actually happened? Is it common? Browsing through the internet I cam across this condition called "vasovagal syncopy". Is this the same as what happened to me? And my friend told me that my hand kind of froze and raised up although it did not look as severe as a fit.. Is this of any significance?..
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 12 hours later
Let me try and explain.

It's something similar to sneezing. When you gulp some gaseous liquid, some of it is likely to have entered your airway and spill it out willingly in a reflex manner. Similarly coughing or sneezing which temporarily raises intra thoracic pressure so much that there is a transient lack of blood supply to the brain and causes a state of brief loss of consciousness.

It is no significance. Unless when something like fish bone or chicken piece get stuck there, there is no imminent danger.

Hope this clarifies.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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