I have had cronic bronchitis most of my life. But today I am having very sharp pain when I exhale only. It's on my left side and happens even with small shallow breaths. I had cardipericarditis 2 years ago and nearly died from it. The pain is not as severe but worrys me that I may have another infection.
It is an unusual pain that occurs only with exhalation. Most lung or chest wall pain, which includes the ribs, muscles, cartilage, etc, occurs with inspiration as does classic pleurisy. Still, the pain you describe is worrisome and calls for further investigation. I wonder about the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis “most of my life”. If it began in childhood, for example, and especially if it is not related to cigarette smoking, it may not be chronic bronchitis, but rather some other type of chronic lung disease, including asthma.
The pain you are experiencing must not be ignored, especially with your history of pericarditis. It could be infection, collapse of your lung, herpes zoster commonly referred to a shingles, a clot to the lung or pleuro-pericarditis.
You should call your doctor now and arrange to be seen on an urgent basis. You will need a chest x-ray, complete blood count (CBC) and an electrocardiogram (EKG).
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