Sharp Pain in Lung When Inhaling

Stabbing pain when breathing, likewise described as “knife-like,” is traumatic. Pain triggered by a condition in the lung is frequently sharp, and frequently aggravates during a deep breath. A range of conditions, some which are really severe, can cause stabbing pain when breathing. Disorders not involving the lungs might likewise cause a similar symptom. A physician must examine the cause of a the pain.

Sharp Pain in Lung When Inhaling


Membranes, or pleura, surround the lungs and line the chest cavity, separating them. Pleurisy results when inflammation develops in between these two layers, the Mayo Clinic explains. Swelling causes the layers to rub against each other, producing the characteristic sharp pain of pleurisy that happens during breathing. An underlying medical condition, such as the flu, pneumonia or other infection, can cause pleurisy (find out how long does pleurisy last). Other causes include autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, injury to the chest, broken ribs, open heart surgery and tuberculosis. A collection of fluid between the swollen layers, or pleural effusion, can take place, which stops the pain however can result in a collapsed lung. Treatment concentrates on removing the underlying cause and relieving pain. If a large pleural effusion developed, it may have to be drained.

Also read: Pain in Lungs when Breathing

Lung Embolism

Pulmonary embolism, or PE, is an unexpected obstruction of an artery in the lungs by a blood clot that took a trip from elsewhere in the body, many frequently the legs. A blood clot that forms in a vein and then breaks off and travels through the flow is called an embolus, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute describes. A PE is a deadly condition. It can cause low oxygen levels in the blood which can harm organs, completely damage part of a lung and cause death if several clots, or a big clot, causes the issue. Symptoms consist of a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest during breathing, shortness of breath and a quick heart rate.


A pneumothorax is a build-up of air into the pleural area, or the area between the lung and chest cavity, that leads to a collapsed lung. The collapse can be partial or total, and results when injury or disease, such as emphysema, causes a hole in the pleural area, which then fills with air. A spontaneous pneumothorax can likewise happen, and has no known cause. Symptoms depend on the degree of the collapse, and include shortness of breath, a stabbing pain when breathing, pain in the shoulder or abdomen and a dry, hacking cough. Shock, cardiac arrest and death can result, states the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Also read: What Causes Shortness of Breath?

Can breathing cause sharp chest discomforts?

Q: I often get sharp pains in my chest when I take really deep breaths. I’m an otherwise health 40 yr old man, and it looks like this has actually become worse in the last month. What are the various diseases that might cause this, and how should I treat it?

A: Acute pains when you take a deep breath are usually triggered by a condition called pleurisy (described listed below), or in some cases a rib injury. It can be a really distressing symptom. However, only a qualified healthcare expert taking a detailed history and physical exam can tell for sure what is triggering the discomforts you are having and if you require a more comprehensive develop. Pleuritic chest pain happens when there is swelling of the pleura (the connective tissue lining of the lung and inside chest wall). The pain is typically referred to as sharp, and increases with deep breathing. The cause can be idiopathic (unknown), secondary to an infection, autoimmune disease, or potentially a lung embolism. Separated pleurisy that is idiopathic and not due to a harmful illness (such as a lung embolism) can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Any associated symptom such as fever, heart palpitations, or shortness of breath should trigger you to provide to the emergency clinic immediately. If the chest pain is separated (no other symptom) then you may be able to simply call your medical care physician and schedule an appointment soon. Since some of the causes can be life threatening, you shouldn’t wait to obtain medical attention if you feel ill or have any of these disconcerting symptoms.

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