ZocdocAnswersWhat does it mean if your chest seizes up?

Question

What does it mean if your chest seizes up?

Sometimes when I take a deep breath or cough, my chest seizes up for a second or so and I can't breathe at all. Is the sign of a lung problem or is this pretty normal stuff? I'm 32 year old female by the way.

Answer

I am not entirely clear on what you mean by your chest seizing up. If you find the symptoms concerning and if they are persistent, then it would not hurt to go see your primary care doctor who will be able to perform a quick physical exam and provide you with some reassurance. If you are finding that you are coughing frequently, then this is something that should be investigated. Common causes of cough in some one your age include asthma, various types of allergies, sinus congestion, and lung infections. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out if you might have one of these condition and, if so, prescribe medications to help you get the symptoms under control. Similarly, if you find yourself getting short of breath or having difficulty with exercise, these are also symptoms that should be investigated. If you experience any sudden, severe shortness of breath or pain with deep breaths that does not resolve, these may be signs of a serious problem, such as a blood clot in the lungs, and you would need to go seek emergency medical attention. For the moment, if the symptoms are not severe and just come and go occasionally, a plan to see your primary doctor at your convenience should be sufficient.

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