British Lung Foundation
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Burning Lungs & Chest Pain

I have had a bad chest ( can't get a deep breath, cough, sputum for 12 years with no diagnosis of COPD due to normal Spirometry. This year I had three chest infections. The last one was a bad one but cleared in two weeks or so. I had mucous plugging and chills. Foolishly I slugged it out and didn't go to my doc. I have a suspicion now maybe It may have been walking pneumonia. I did eventually get an antibiotic.

Anyway I have been having general chest discomfort, back pain that seems to be only on one side and a burning or irritated feeling in my lungs. They seem to wax and wane but are a constant feature of my life now.

As discussed here things have dis improved and now I have substantial nocturnal dyspena.

Anyone any thoughts, is this chest pain normal.

8 Replies

Hi, I was wondering if you have had a recent X-ray or ct scan of your chest, has your GP any explanation?

I had pneumonia 20years ago and I did suffer chest pain for a long time afterwards, but I also broke a rib coughing.

I have chest pains at the moment, and it is difficult to breathe deeply, but I have had an X-ray and the diagnosis is inflammation of the muscles between the ribs.

If you are in the UK, you can ring the BLF helpline during working hours or send an email and ask for advice. And definitely go back to your GP ....have you had a sputum test?

Take care, and get all the help you can and as soon as you can


I have a clear chest X-ray from a month ago with no markings or hyperinflation.

Never had a sputum test to my knowledge but did have a Bronchsocpy with Lavage 12 years ago.


Hi it does sound as though something is not quite right. Have you ever had a CT scan? If not I would ask for one as there are other lung diseases apart from COPD. x


I see those on here with primarily emphysema and mild airflow obstructions who are doing well and have no overt symptoms. This primarily chronic bronchitis is indeed the worse of the two in my opinion.

It's relentless.


Hi again ck101, I hope you got some sleep...I know it's often difficult when you have chest pain and breathlessness.

Is the mucus that you cough up discoloured or is it clear or white.....yellow or green can show there is something not right....and you can ask for a test. Mind you mine has often come back negative even when it looks nasty.

If it is difficult to cough up like mine my nurse prescribed saline nebulisers and Mucodyne .

I hope you find some answers...can you try the helpline and your GP again.


Thanks Knitter, sleep still awful. Sleep for an hour then wake up gasping. Then I pop a few sleeping tablets for another two hours sleep.

Wake at 4 and the toss and turn feeling SOB till 6.

Back in Jan I would get into bed at 11, sleep as soon as I closed my eyes and woke at 7, every night.


It could be an allergy problem?


Hi ck101, Im wondering if the burning could be a touch of pleurisy. There are no nerve endings in the lungs themselves, but the pleura which surround the lungs do have nerve endings and pleurisy is truly a horrid pain. You could also be having muscle pain from coughing and sometimes the diaphragm gets very achy from the force of coughing.

I don't know which is worst out of emphysema or chronic bronchitis. There are many here with emphysema and very serious airflow obstruction who get by with a mound of medication, or for some surgery. For those with mild airflow obstruction i can only be glad for them and hope it continues. And i hope you also can find some resolution.

Id advise going to the GP and Knitter has suggested that you call the BLF helpline which is a good idea. Best wishes :)

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