Drainage in throat and chest tightness
by coco0704, Oct 30, 2011
I have nasal congestion, drainage in the throat, and tightness in the chest.  I had a chest x-ray which was clear.  I also had an ECG which showed the R wave diminishing.  My stress test was positive but the cardiologist felt, after an exam, that this was a false positive.  So now I will have a CT of the heart, but I am wondering if this is strictly allergies.  My chest is tight and when talking I have to cough.  Sometimes the cough is without talking.  Could the nasal drainage and chest tightness be symptons of allergies rather than heart problems?

Thanks for your help.
by David Tinkelman, M.D.Blank, Nov 01, 2011
You ask, “Could the nasal drainage and chest tightness be symptoms of allergies rather than heart problems?”
And the answer is yes, both nasal drainage and chest tightness (as a symptom of asthma) could be on the basis of allergy.  Chest tightness may be a symptom of either heart or lung disease.  Your best option is to work with the cardiologist to do whatever is necessary to confirm that your heart is healthy and that the chest tightness is not cardiac in origin.  Once that is accomplished it would be reasonable to ascribe the chest tightness to obstruction to airflow, as with asthma and COPD, or to musculoskeletal disease with or without anxiety.  

Assuming that you will be given a clean bill of health with regards to your heart, the next step would be pulmonary function testing and, if that is normal, further assessment of possible asthma by what is called a methacholine challenge.  

As for “the nasal congestion and drainage in the throat”  that could be allergic or non-allergic and, should you have asthma, contribute to that.  Treatment of chronic inflammation of the nose and sinuses will most often respond to nasal washes (also called nasal irrigations) with normal saline (OTC at any pharmacy) and a nasal inhaler, most often a nasal steroid.

It should be possible for you, working with your doctor, to answer the questions you have posed and, in the process, gain relief of most if not all of your symptoms.  

Good luck
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