Can Asthma Cause Chest Pain?

Chest pains are usually associated with severe asthma attacks. However, the reasons for



chest pain

can mean other underlying problems. There are several other factors that can cause chest pains, some related to asthma and some not, but, mistaken for asthma attack. Chest pain can also occur due to problems that are not localized to chest, but are infections and injuries somewhere else in the body.

What is Pleura?

Pleura is a membrane that covers the lungs and the inside of the chest. The pleural cavity, the space between the two membranes of pleura, is usually filled with a fluid. This helps the lung expand and contract while you are breathing. So, when there is a problem with pleura it can cause acute chest pains and breathing problems.

Secondary or Tension Pneumothorax

Secondary or tension pneumothorax or lung collapse, happens when the air in the lungs enters the pleura and starts to fill it up, decreasing amount of space lung can occupy. As a result, the lung has lesser capacity to hold air, thus causing difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. Secondary pnuemothorax occurs in people who have chronic lung problems, a severe asthma attack being one of them. The pain that is experienced in the chest is not due to the reason that lung has shrunk but because pleura now has air in it, and it’s the pleural membrane that has nerve endings and not the lungs.

When such attacks occur, and it is confirmed that pneumothorax is the reason, then a trained professional usually inserts a needle into the pleural cavity below the lung so that the air can go out and further harm is delayed until the asthmatic is taken to hospital for proper treatment.

Though pneumothorax occurs in those suffering from chronic lung problems, it is sometimes mistaken for


attack because of

chest pains

and breathlessness symptoms.

Pleurisy or Pleuritis

Sometimes, when there is an infection such as pneumonia, or when the pleura or chest receives an injury, or any other infections or reasons can cause the pleura to swell resulting in rubbing of the two pleural membranes while breathing. This friction between the two membranes causes pain in the chest. To stop this, the pleura releases fluid to ease the friction. At times, when too much of fluid is released, it causes the lung to collapse and thus causing shortness of breath. The breathlessness and chest pains are sometimes mistaken for symptoms of asthma.


Some bacterial infections of the trachea result in obstructions for the air to reach lungs. The infection induces symptoms like heavy coughing, difficulty in breathing, and chest pains. This is known as tracheitis. It is also associated with asthma, and can be a reason for

chest pains during



Before going for treatment, it is important to get your situation properly diagnosed. Sometimes, health conditions and symptoms associated with it can have more than one particular cause or are a result of interlinked reasons. Such is the case with

asthma and chest pains


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