Chest pain and dizziness: causes, treatment and seeking help (2023)

A person may experience chest pain and dizziness separately or simultaneously. Triggers can be anxiety, panic attacks and overexertion during exercise. However, it can also occur due to heart disease. Talk to a doctor, a person experiences chest pains.

There are many different causes of chest pain and dizzinessseveral cases, Chest pain is not due to a heart problem. However, any new form of chest pain should be evaluated by a doctor.

A person can call a doctor to find out if they need to go to the emergency room or wait for a regular doctor's appointment.

People can experience vertigo in a number of ways. One reason could be dizziness where they feel like they are spinning or they feel off balance. Another cause could be near syncope, when a person feels weak or dizzy.

In this article, we discuss some possible causes of chest pain and dizziness. We also discuss when you should seek medical help.

When to seek emergency help

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Although chest pain and dizziness do not always indicate something serious, a person should see a doctor if they experience sudden chest pain that lasts longer than15 minutes.

They should also seek help if they have chest pain along with other symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath, which may or may not occur with chest discomfort
  • Feeling sick
  • Pain that spreads to the arms, neck, jaw, or back
  • tightness in the chest

This is because the combination of these symptoms can indicate aHeart attack.

However, a person should still seek the advice of a doctor if they have concerns about recurring chest pain.

In addition, medical emergencies involving the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract can occur, including:

  • Problems with the aorta, such asaortic dissectionÖAneurysm
  • Myocarditis, which refers to inflammation of the heart
  • Arrhythmia
  • pulmonary embolismwhen a blood vessel in the lungs is blocked
  • voltagePneumothorax, which occurs when air becomes trapped in the pleural cavity
  • Esophageal rupture, when the tube connecting the throat to the stomach tears
  • gastric ulcerPerforation, when the lining of the stomach breaks open

Exercise and Overuse Injury

In some cases, chest pain and dizziness may occur during exercise, especially if a person exerts too much effort during exercise. This can lead to sprains or strains.

In addition to chest pain and dizziness, some people may experience:

(Video) Chest Pain And Dizziness: Causes And Treatment

  • shortness of breath
  • joint pain
  • muscle cramps
  • pain when breathing

Learn more about post-exercise dizziness here.


If a person experiences chest pain or dizziness while exercising, it's best to stop immediately and see if the symptoms go away.

People may need to rest and ice the affected area up20 minutes at a time, three times a day. It can also help keep your chest elevated while you sleep.

In accordance withNational Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, anemia occurs when a person does not have enough iron in their body. People with mild to moderate anemia may not have any symptoms.

However, people with more severe anemia may experience:

  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • Difficult to focus
  • fatigue
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • shortness of breath
  • weakness
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Headache
  • cold hands and feet
  • brittle nails
  • Cracks in the side of the mouth
  • pale skin
  • swelling of the tongue


Treatment usually depends on the type of anemia a person has. Options include iron supplements, diet changes, and other medical procedures.

Learn more about the treatment options for anemia here.


The following diseases that affect the lungs can cause chest pain and dizziness.

lung infections

A chest infection occurs when the lungs or airways become infected. Two common lung infections includelung infectionmiBronchitis.

Symptoms can include

  • chest pain or tightness
  • to
  • Fever
  • gasping
  • shortness of breath
  • Coughing up yellow or green phlegm
  • Muscle cramp
  • fatigue

A person may also experience loss of appetite, which can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness.


If the cause is bacterial, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Viral infections usually resolve in onesome weeks.

A person can also:

(Video) 12 Causes of Dizziness

  • rest a lot
  • Drink much water
  • Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Elevate your head when you sleep


Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleura, the layer of tissue that lines the outside of the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity.

Ömore oftenThis condition is caused by a chest infection.

Symptoms include:

  • Shooting or stabbing chest pains that get worse with deep breaths
  • shortness of breath
  • to
  • Fever
  • chills
  • unexplained weight loss
  • sore throat
  • joint inflammation

The pain can also spread to the back or shoulder. Similar to a chest infection, a person may feel dizzy if they are unable to eat.


Treatment involves a healthcare professional performing a procedure known as thoracentesis, in which fluid is removed from the pleural space.

A person can also take over-the-counter pain relievers and cough syrups that contain codeine.

Lying on the painful side can help the person feel more comfortable. Deep breaths and coughing can also help clear the phlegm once the pain subsides.

Pulmonary Hypertension

lungshypertensionoccurs when there is an abnormal increaseblood pressurein the pulmonary arteries. This means the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body.

Early symptoms include:

  • chest pain
  • Shortness of breath during activities such as climbing stairs
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • decreased appetite
  • a racing heartbeat

Later symptoms may include:

  • fainting
  • Feeling dizzy, especially with physical activity
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • bluish skin and lips


There is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, but a person can treat the condition with specific treatments depending on the underlying cause.

Depending on the type of this condition, treatment options may include:

  • anticoagulants
  • Diuretics
  • oxygen supplement
  • Digoxin

Some people with pulmonary hypertension may need special surgery.

mental illness

The following mental illnesses can cause chest pain and dizziness in a person.

Learn more about available mental health resources here.


Although many people can experience a variable amount ofAngstOver the course of life, it can sometimes cause a person to experience physical symptoms such as chest pain and dizziness.

(Video) Chest pain: how to distinguish between cardiac and noncardiac causes

Other accompanying symptoms can be:

  • irritability
  • tension muscular
  • Tonprobleme
  • fatigue
  • Difficult to focus
  • a racing heartbeat
  • Issue


If a person experiences anxiety on a regular basis, they should seek medical help.

A doctor may prescribe the following medications:

  • Antidepressantsto help a person deal with mood andemphasize
  • anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines
  • beta blockersto relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety

There are also various psychotherapeutic options for people with anxiety. A common form of psychotherapy includescognitive behavioral therapy.

This treatment involves the patient identifying unhelpful thoughts that increase anxiety while finding practical solutions to help them manage their everyday anxious thoughts.

A person should discuss the best course of treatment with their doctor to consider the side effects and benefits of each treatment option.

Find out more about accessing therapy without insurance here.

PANIC Syndrome

In accordance withGeist, a UK based charity, apanic attackIt occurs when physical anxiety symptoms develop very quickly and only last for a short time, usually intermittently5-20 minutes.

Panic attacks can come on suddenly and unexpectedly, with symptoms typically peaking after 10 minutes.

They also have anxiety-like symptoms, including:

  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • sweat
  • feeling out of control
  • sense of impending doom
  • shortness of breath
  • a feeling of suffocation
  • a racing heartbeat


Treatment for panic attacks is similar to that for anxiety. A doctor may prescribe medications, such as anxiolytics, or recommend psychotherapy.

It's especially important to see a doctor if a person experiences frequent panic attacks, as this can be the caseindicatea panic disorder.


Hyperventilation istdeep or rapid breathingIt usually occurs due to fear or panic.

People may refer to this as excessive breathing. Excessive breathing can cause low levels of carbon dioxide in a person's blood and cause the following symptoms:

  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • chest pain
  • palpitations
  • Muscle cramps in the feet and hands
  • dry mouth
  • burping
  • swelling
  • shortness of breath

It is important to note that hyperventilation can have other causes.

Learn more about other possible causes of hyperventilation here.


Treatment usually aims to increase carbon dioxide levels. To do this, a person can purse his lips and breathe. Alternatively, they can cover their mouth and one nostril while breathing through the other nostril.

If the cause is anxiety or depression, the person may seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist.

(Video) Dizziness and Chest pain (Medical Symptom)

heart problems

When a person has heart disease, they may experience dizziness, chest pain, and other associated symptoms.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Arrhythmia:It occurs when the heart beats too fast, too slow, or unpredictably.
  • cardiomyopathy:A disease of the heart muscle that can cause the muscles to become larger, thicker, or even stiff. In some cases, scar tissue can replace muscle.
  • heart valve problems:The heart has four valves that help blood flow. When these become impaired, it can lead to symptoms such as chest pain and dizziness.
  • Pericarditis:It refers to inflammation of the pericardium, the layer of tissue that surrounds and protects the heart.

Treatment for these heart problems depends on the condition.


A doctor can examine a person to determine the underlying cause. This usually involves running multiple tests.

Healthcare professionals collect information such as medical history or whether there is a family history of heart problems. They also do a physical exam of the person, which includes listening and examining the chest and throat, checking the heartbeat, and measuring blood pressure.

Other tests may include:

  • blood test:These tests can show specific markers that may be present under certain conditions.
  • Bild:It may consist of X-rays of a person's or a person's chestComputed Tomography.
  • Electrocardiogram:It measures the heart's electrical activity, which helps doctors determine if it's regular or irregular.

When to contact a doctor

A person should see a doctor if they regularly experience symptoms and if the pain spreads to other parts of the body.

Other symptoms to look out for include shortness of breath and nausea. When they occur together and last longer than15 minutes, should the person seek medical assistance.


(Video) Chest Pain, Palpitations, Dizziness, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome after COVID-19

The causes of chest pain and dizziness are not always serious, although the symptoms can go away on their own.

However, if a person is concerned about their symptoms or finds them difficult to control, they should see a doctor.


What does it mean when your chest hurts and you feel dizzy? ›

Panic attack

You may feel chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, numbness or tingling, temperature sensitivity, excessive perspiration, or feelings of fear and paranoia. Typically, any four of these symptoms experienced together constitute a panic attack.

What kind of heart problems cause dizziness? ›

Heart conditions that cause dizziness include: Atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular heartbeat. Heart attack. Neurocardiogenic syncope, a sudden drop in blood pressure and fainting, often triggered by standing up, seeing needles or blood, or becoming fearful.

What causes chest pain dizziness and shortness of breath? ›

Shortness of breath and dizziness can occur alongside symptoms of the following emergency medical conditions: Heart attack: This causes uncomfortable pressure, a squeezing sensation, or pain in the chest. Pulmonary embolism: This causes chest pain that worsens when breathing or spreads into the neck, shoulder, or arm.

What causes chest pain and treatment? ›

These may include acid reflux, anxiety attacks, and asthma or related disorders. However, chest pain can also be a symptom of a life threatening condition. Seek immediate medical treatment if you think you may be experiencing a heart attack or another heart problem. This can save your life.

Can a blocked artery cause dizziness? ›

Additional symptoms of a clogged artery may include: Dizziness or weakness. Heart palpitations, or sensations of your heart racing or fluttering. Nausea or sweating.

Can some heart problems make you light headed and dizzy? ›

Often, your body sends signs that your heart needs care—symptoms you should not ignore. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, loss of consciousness, and dizziness. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor.

What does dizziness from heart failure feel like? ›

If you have congestive heart failure (CHF), you may have experienced the dizziness that often accompanies this condition. In addition, many CHF patients report experiencing a feeling of lightheadedness when they stand up too quickly, whether from a seated, bent-over, or lying-down position.

How do I know if my chest pain is serious? ›

Heart-related chest pain

Crushing or searing pain that spreads to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and one or both arms. Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back, or varies in intensity. Shortness of breath.

What does a heart blockage feel like? ›

A completely blocked coronary artery will cause a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing chest pain or pressure, shoulder or arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating. Women may have less typical symptoms, such as neck or jaw pain, nausea and fatigue.

How do I stop feeling dizzy? ›

How you can treat dizziness yourself
  1. lie down until the dizziness passes, then get up slowly.
  2. move slowly and carefully.
  3. get plenty of rest.
  4. drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  5. avoid coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

Why does my heart feel weird and feel dizzy? ›

Atrial fibrillation

It can cause episodes of a fast, irregular heart rate, which can feel like a persistent heart flutter, and you may feel dizzy, short of breath and extremely tired. Atrial fibrillation is generally not life threatening, but can be uncomfortable and often needs treating.

Can dehydration cause dizziness and chest pain? ›

If you're dehydrated, you might get a headache, start cramping and feel dizzy. In some cases, dehydration can cause chest pain. Our expert, Dr.

How can I calm down my chest pain? ›

Home remedies
  1. Practice deep breathing. Focused, deep breaths can calm both your mind and your body. ...
  2. Take stock of the situation. Accept your feelings of anxiety, recognize them, and then work through putting them in perspective. ...
  3. Picture a beautiful scene. ...
  4. Use a relaxation app. ...
  5. Be proactive about your physical health.

Can chest pain be cured at home? ›

Home remedies for chest pain:

Almond milk can help neutralize the acid in the esophagus. Lie down on your bed. Apple cider vinegar to help with acid reflux, which can cause chest pain. Turmeric with milk like turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

What triggers chest pain? ›

What could cause chest pain? Chest pain can stem from a heart problem, but other possible causes include a lung infection, muscle strain, a rib injury, or a panic attack. Some of these are serious conditions and need medical attention.

How can I check my heart for blockage at home? ›

Official answer. You can check for heart disease at home by measuring your pulse rate and your blood pressure if you have a blood pressure monitor. You can also monitor yourself for symptoms of heart disease, such as: Chest pain, pressure, discomfort, or tightness.

What tests does a neurologist do for dizziness? ›

Your doctor has scheduled you for a test called Videonystagmography. The VNG is a test of the inner ear and portions of the brain. The VNG can help your doctor understand the cause of your dizziness or balance problem.

What would cause dizziness and off balance? ›

Causes of balance problems include medications, ear infection, a head injury, or anything else that affects the inner ear or brain. Low blood pressure can lead to dizziness when you stand up too quickly.

Should I see a cardiologist for dizziness? ›

If you experience any of the following, you should definitely make an appointment to come in and see us as soon as possible: new or severe episode of dizziness or lightheadedness. sudden dizziness that you can't attribute to a cause. any change in your pattern of dizziness.

What diseases have dizziness as a symptom? ›

Inner ear disorders are frequently the cause of feeling dizzy. The most common causes include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's syndrome and ear infections. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) makes you dizzy when you change your head or body position (like bending over).

How do you know if dizziness is serious? ›

Get emergency medical care if you experience new, severe dizziness or vertigo along with any of the following:
  1. Sudden, severe headache.
  2. Chest pain.
  3. Difficulty breathing.
  4. Numbness or paralysis of arms or legs.
  5. Fainting.
  6. Double vision.
  7. Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  8. Confusion or slurred speech.

What are the warning signs your heart failure is getting worse? ›

Fatigue and Activity Changes

The easiest way to know that heart failure is getting worse is you're able to do less and less. People start pacing themselves. They stop doing hobbies that involve any physical activity. They used to go fishing, but not anymore.

How do you feel before heart failure? ›

Chest pain. Fainting or severe weakness. Rapid or irregular heartbeat associated with shortness of breath, chest pain or fainting. Sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up white or pink, foamy mucus.

How do you know when heart failure is near the end? ›

In the final stages of heart failure, people feel breathless both during activity and at rest. Persistent coughing or wheezing. This may produce white or pink mucus. The cough may be worse at night or when lying down.

How long is too long for chest pain? ›

Call 911 or have someone take you to the closest emergency room right away if you have chest pain that lasts longer than five minutes and doesn't go away when you rest or take medication. Cardiac chest pain can be life-threatening. Chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack.

What are the red flags for chest pain? ›

Red flags in chest pain
  • Sudden onset.
  • Exertional chest pain.
  • Substernal or left-sided pain.
  • Radiation to the left arm, jaw, and/or back.
  • Quality of chest pain: crushing, pressure , tearing, and/or ripping.
  • Associated symptoms: shortness of breath, diaphoresis, nausea, and/or vomiting.
Nov 8, 2022

How long should you have chest pain before going to the hospital? ›

If your chest pain lasts more than a few minutes or becomes more severe, don't wait. Call 911 immediately.

Does EKG show blockage? ›

A health care provider might use an electrocardiogram to determine or detect: Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) If blocked or narrowed arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease) are causing chest pain or a heart attack.

What are the warning signs of a blocked carotid artery? ›

Carotid Artery Blockage Symptoms
  • Blurred vision or vision loss.
  • Confusion.
  • Memory loss.
  • Numbness or weakness in part of your body or one side of your body.
  • Problems with thinking, reasoning, memory and speech.

What are the symptoms of a partially blocked heart artery? ›

In addition to chest pain, symptoms of a clogged artery may include:
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling like your heart is racing (heart palpitations)
  • Nausea.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sweating.
  • Weakness.

What is a good home remedy for dizziness? ›

Steps people can take to relieve dizziness include:
  • lying down and closing the eyes.
  • acupuncture.
  • drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated.
  • reducing stress plus alcohol and tobacco intake.
  • getting plenty of sleep.

What medicine helps with dizziness? ›

These are some of the most widely-used medications for short term dizziness:
  • Meclizine.
  • Promethazine.
  • Bonine.
  • Antivert.
  • Dramamine.
Aug 13, 2021

Does drinking water help with dizziness? ›

If you believe that you're feeling dizzy as a result of dehydration, there are several steps you should take to help relieve your symptoms. Rehydrate: First and foremost, you need to replace the fluids you've lost as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to drink plenty of water.

How do I stop heart palpitations and dizziness? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Reduce stress. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing.
  2. Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, some cold medicines and energy drinks can make the heart beat too fast or irregularly.
  3. Avoid illegal drugs.
Mar 11, 2022

Why do I feel off balance while walking? ›

Losing your balance while walking, or feeling imbalanced, can result from: Vestibular problems. Abnormalities in your inner ear can cause a sensation of a floating or heavy head and unsteadiness in the dark. Nerve damage to your legs (peripheral neuropathy).

What causes dizziness in old age? ›

Multiple factors including neurologic, cardiovascular, visual, vestibular, and psychological problems can cause dizziness in older people.

Does drinking water help with chest pain? ›

Drinking hot water was effective in 5/8 patients who ever tried to relieve chest pain attacks.

What are 3 warning signs of dehydration? ›

Some of the early warning signs of dehydration include:
  • feeling thirsty and lightheaded.
  • a dry mouth.
  • tiredness.
  • having dark coloured, strong-smelling urine.
  • passing urine less often than usual.

What are the 5 signs of dehydration? ›

  • feeling thirsty.
  • dark yellow, strong-smelling pee.
  • peeing less often than usual.
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • feeling tired.
  • a dry mouth, lips and tongue.
  • sunken eyes.

What happens if you dont treat chest pain? ›

Large heart attacks that are not treated early can lead to heart failure. It's important to seek help immediately when heart attack symptoms occur. Don't drive to a hospital yourself. Instead, call 911 so an experienced EMS team can begin treatment and get you to the nearest emergency room.

What happens if chest pain is not treated? ›

If a person does not receive immediate treatment, this lack of blood flow can cause damage to the heart. Complications arising from this situation include: Arrhythmias: These are abnormal heartbeats. Cardiogenic shock: This refers to severe damage to the heart muscle.

Can I take Tylenol for chest pain? ›

The bottom line. If you've had a heart attack and you need to take an OTC medication to help with pain, Tylenol is the safest choice. You should avoid taking oral NSAIDs because of harmful side effects, including a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

What are the two most common causes of chest pain? ›

The most common causes of pleuritic chest pain are bacterial or viral infections, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax. Other less common causes include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and cancer. Pneumonia or lung abscess. These lung infections can cause pleuritic and other types of chest pain, such as a deep chest ache.

Why does my chest hurt and feel weird? ›

The most common causes of pleuritic chest pain are bacterial or viral infections, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax. Other less common causes include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and cancer. Pneumonia or lung abscess. These lung infections can cause pleuritic and other types of chest pain, such as a deep chest ache.


1. 12 Warning Signs Your Body Gives You Before a Heart Attack
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3. What Causes Lightheadedness | How To Stop Being Lightheaded
4. Dizziness, balance problems, and blood pressure swings can be from upper cervical instability
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5. Why are you having chest pains?
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6. Are chest pain, sweating & dizziness an indicator towards anxiety disorder? - Dr. Sanjay Panicker
(Doctors' Circle World's Largest Health Platform)
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