ZocdocAnswersCould my chest pain and shortness of breath be more then just a cold?

Question

Could my chest pain and shortness of breath be more then just a cold?

I am 20 year old female is good health, I don't smoke or drink alcohol. I have had a pretty nasty cold for about three weeks now but it is beginning to clear up. Though I have been having chest pain and shortness of breath, I though it may be due to the cold, but it hasn't gotten any better. Could it be something more serious?

Answer

Chest pain and shortness of breath are very concerning symptoms. There are many causes of these symptoms -- but in a young person it is normally is minor cold. That being said, the fact t hat your symptoms have lasted for so long is concerning. I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor at once. The most common cause is viral infection. These infections can cause inflammation of the airways which can cause a cough, runny nose or shortness of breath. Occasionally, these viral infection can spread and persist. One cause to consider is pericarditis. This can be when the viral inflammation spreads to the lining of the heart. This can be serious if the inflammation is severe and involves the heart muscle itself. See your doctor who can diagnose and treat this. A bacterial infection cause also cause these symptoms. These would not improve without antibiotics. This is a pneumonia. A chest x-ray can help diagnose this. Other causes include a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot) or a heart problem. Heart problems such as abnormal valves are not uncommon in your age group. This requires attention. I would strongly recommend you see your doctor. A cold should not last this long and the symptoms are concerning. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.