Medical News Today: What causes chest pain on the left side?

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A person with chest pain on the left side may be experiencing lung problems.

It can be difficult to identify whether chest pain is a sign of a heart attack.

However, there are three indications that chest pain may not be a heart attack:

  • Specific location: If pain is coming from one particular place, it is not likely to be a heart attack.
  • Worsening pain: Chest pain associated with a heart attack does not get worse when breathing.
  • Varying locations: Chest pain associated with a heart attack may spread between the shoulder blades, and into the arms and jaw, but it does not move from one side to the other.

If a person thinks they may be experiencing a heart attack, they should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. They should not attempt to drive themselves to the hospital.

Signs a person may be having a heart attack include:

  • chest pain or tightness that typically starts in the center of the chest and radiates outward
  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • nausea
  • pain that may extend from the chest to the arms, neck, jaw, or shoulders
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating

Women are more likely than men to experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and pain in the back or jaw.

Learn more about chest pain in women here.

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