Chest Pains

From time to time some people feel an intense pressure across the chest, as though a heavy weight was pressing down on them. Sometimes this pressure is so intense that it makes breathing difficult. This can be a very alarming sensation because it can be an indicator of myocardial infarction – commonly known as a heart attack. But although this is one of several possible symptoms, it is most commonly the result of an allergic attack. People develop allergies at different stages of life, so new allergies are always possible. It’s quite common for people who have never suffered pollen allergies suddenly to discover one Spring that they are now very allergic to something in the air. Equally common is the sudden onset of allergies in the Fall, when leaf mold and other plant particles get stirred up by wind and enter our lungs as we breathe in.

If you experience this “crushed chest” type of pain during a season when plant materials can be present in the air, and the pain seems primarily located in the very center of your chest – the sternum – you should take an anti-histamine and see if the discomfort eases off over the next thirty minutes. If the pain persists, especially on the left side of your body and lower down near the bottom of your ribs, or if it is accompanied by other heart-attack indicators like numbness in the left shoulder, arm, or hand, you should immediately seek medical help.

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