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What causes pain on taking a deep breath?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11916 Questions
for the past week ive felt a little short of breath, when i take a deep breath it hurts a little...i also feel rattling in my chest when i breath and out, its not pronounced, subtle rattling i guess id call it...i ran a mile last night and it just seem to hurt a 32 year old white male...ive been smoking on and off for the last 2 years, never smoked before...havent smoked since my lungs felt uncomfortable, so for a week now...have no health insurance, currently in nursing school should i be concerned??
Posted Mon, 24 Mar 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 19 minutes later
Brief Answer: pleuritis Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic One of the more common causes of pain on taking a deep breath is pleuritis. This is inflammation of the pleura which is the lining of the lung. There are different potential causes but infection is one of the common causes either viral or bacterial. In light of the history of abnormal sounds in the chest, it is possible that there is a mild infection that is contributing to your symptoms. Normally pleuritis is treated with anti inflammatory pain medication as well as treating the underlying cause if it can be determined. In some cases the cause is not known. Examples of anti inflammatory medication that can be used provided there is no history of allergic reaction are ibuprofen, cataflam, aspirin, naproxen. It would be best to continue your present stance on smoking as this would only aggravate the issue. I hope this helps , feel free to ask any other questions
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Follow-up: What causes pain on taking a deep breath? 6 minutes later
hi Dr. XXXXXXX Thank u for your quick response. Does this condition resolve on its own if the precipitating factor(s) are removed (smoking). I have never had similar symptoms before, so i found it troubling when it persisted. Do u think it would be best to be treated by my PCP, or should i expect symptoms to subside? I didnt know if it would require an X-ray to properly diagnose...or to rule out anything else IF i went to the Dr's office
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Brief Answer: can resolve on own Detailed Answer: HI It is understandable to be concerned. Yes, it can resolve on its own, the anti inflammatory medication would speed up the process but even without these it should resolve. As mentioned infection is one of the more common causes but they are others such as exposure to toxins, lupus, RA, cancer, pulmonary embolism. There are usually other associated signs and symptoms if it was one of these. An xray may not be needed at this point. You can consider trying a very short course of medication (for 2 to 3 days), if there is no relief after this time or any worsening then you can visit doctor who may ,since you have already tried to treat it, suggest investigations such as an xray. please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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