Do we actually get lung pain? Is it true when people say they have lung pain when coughing or other illness signs? What doctors and science say about lung pain that people often complain about. Let us get it right so that you don’t get confused about chest pain for lung pain. We say this because lungs have exceedingly fewer pain receptors and so lungs are usually not the root cause of pain.
What Is Lung Pain?
In medical terms, the word “lung pain” is a misnomer since as said above they don’t have pain receptors and those present in the chest cavity (thorax) give the brain only unclear information regarding the exact pain location. In general, what looks like a lung pain could be the effect of any pulmonary ailment or asthma. Symptoms like sharp lung pain when coughing and all such signs could be due to different health concerns.
As the chest region is filled with many joints, muscles, and organs the discomfort in the chest region can be easily taken for as chest pain or lung pain.
Difference Between Lung Pain And Chest Pain
Chest pain shows up in different types and ranges from a dull ache to a sharp stab. In a few cases, it can be burning and crushing and can travel up the neck reaching jaw and arms. Even the causes are different ranging from heart problems to lung infections. However, coming to lung pain it is the effect of irritation or inflammation of the lining of lungs and chest called pleuritis which is experienced with sharp pain like the feeling when one sneezes, coughs, or breathes. Quite often lung pain coughing shortness of breath can be seen and the pain due to lung pain is towards the lower region of the chest.
What Causes Lung Pain When Coughing?
Usually, lung pain associated with coughing is the result of pleurisy. Pleurisy often leads to cough, chest pain, and lung pain. The inflammation associated with it leads to sharp chest pain which leads to a sensation of pain in the lungs. This is worsened when one coughs, sneezes, or breathes.
Apart from pleuritis (pleurisy), pneumonia or lung abscess, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, pulmonary hypertension, and asthma too can cause lung pain and chest pain.
Left Lung Pain When Coughing
Left lung pain is not a condition but a symptom. Below are the most common causes that lead to left lung pain when coughing. Few may even lead to lung pain coughing up phlegm.
- Infections like TB, bacterial or viral or pneumonia, pulmonary actinomycosis, fungal infections like histoplasmosis and blastomycosis
- Pulmonary embolism
- Lung collapse
- Fluid in the chest called Pleural effusion
Other conditions that lead to left lung pain when coughing include costochondritis, heart disease, Rheumatic heart disease, shingles, acid reflux, pressure, chest wall pain, and irritation, and inflammation in the abdomen.
Right Lung Pain When Coughing
Pleurisy is the main cause of right lung pain when coughing and in the same way, many causes or conditions that lead to left lung pain can also lead to right lung pain. Lung pain is the cause of many interlinked factors.
Coming to lower lung pain when coughing the same conditions that lead to left lung pain and right lung pain can cause this condition. Beginning with asthma to lung collapse any condition may lead to these three kinds of pains in the lungs.
How To Diagnose Lung Pain When Coughing
Diagnosing lung pain when coughing or without coughing starts with an in depth physical examination and checking of medical history.
The study of medical history is done to know the pain source and the doctor could ask questions like duration of pain, consistency, intensity, region, and other questions.
He/she may also ask for other health conditions like heart diseases, lung problems, lifestyle and habits.
Followed by medical history is the physical examination which focuses on checking your breathing, color of nails and lips besides checking the chest and back.
Finally based on these two, lab tests such as a chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram (ECG), blood tests and imaging tests such as echocardiogram, stress test and spirometry may be suggested.
Treatment For Lung Pain When Coughing
As you can observe, the causes are varied and different so the treatment is given based on the condition after diagnosis. A doctor will suggest medication and further treatments depending on the underlying cause that is leading to lung pain.
Lung pain when coughing can be due to varied reasons and as many people think it is not always related to lung cancer. If you doubt something serious and if the condition is persistent and often repeating consult your physician.