Everyone is aware of the importance of our chest. Our chest harbors the heart and the lungs. These are among the most important organs we need for our survival.
So, any abnormality in this region is a cause of concern. Even if it’s something as harmless as a bubbly feeling. And this bubble feeling in the chest left side is something that many people complain about.
But why would you feel this bubble feeling in chest left side?
Bubble feeling in chest left side can be due to various causes. The important ones you should know are acid reflux, indigestion, lung collapse, pleural effusion, heart arrhythmia, anxiety, asthma, etc. It’s best to see your doctor to get a correct diagnosis.
Now, let’s take an in-depth look at these causes.
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Bubble Feeling in Chest Left Side
A bubbling feeling in the chest is a non-specific symptom. It can happen in a number of conditions. The presence of other signs and symptoms can help clue your doctor as to what you might have.
That being said, let’s take a look at some conditions which can cause a bubble feeling in the chest left side. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this feeling might not occur at all in the following conditions as well.
And vice versa, having a bubbling feeling doesn’t confirm you have any of the following conditions either. Rather, it’s best to seek professional help.
Conditions of the Gastrointestinal Tract
As we’ve already said, some conditions of the stomach and the esophagus can cause a bubbling feeling. And you can feel it in the chest region. The common diseases include:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
In this disease, the lower esophageal sphincter is abnormal. Normally, the muscles of the lower esophagus prevent acid of the stomach from traveling up to the esophagus. However, in this disease, the acid can travel up.
The cells of the esophagus aren’t equipped to deal with the acid content. So, there’s cellular damage. Air bubbles from the stomach can also easily pass through the weakened sphincter. This entire phenomenon together can give a bubbling feeling.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- Pain and burning sensation in the chest commonly referred to as ‘heartburn’
- Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing
- A cold or a lump feeling in your throat
If you have these symptoms along with the bubbly feeling, then it’s likely to be GERD.
Indigestion or Dyspepsia
Another problem that might cause the bubbly feeling is indigestion.
Medically, this is referred to as dyspepsia. Dyspepsia occurs with many diseases like GERD, infection, inflammation, endocrine diseases, etc.
However, it may occur without any underlying illnesses. In that case, it’s called functional indigestion.
This disease affects around 15% of the developed world population. Sometimes, there may be a bubbly feeling in the stomach due to this condition.
Dyspepsia can present with signs and symptoms like:
- Abdominal pain
- The feeling of fullness in the abdomen
- heartburn pain
- Belching and gas formation
Some disorders of the respiratory system can manifest as a bubbly feeling in the chest. Below are some of them:
This is a disease affecting almost 8% of the population of the USA. It is a chronic inflammatory disease. In fact, it is the most common chronic disease in children.
The main abnormality of asthma lies in the bronchus. This is a part of the lungs. The bronchi comes after the trachea, the part of the windpipe that you can feel in your throat. The bronchi conduct air to and from the alveoli, the sac-like structure where gas exchange occurs. The alveoli come after the bronchi.
In asthma, these bronchi contract, and their diameter gets smaller. So, the amount of air that can get into the alveoli is considerably less. The cells of the bronchus also produce too much mucus. This hinders the airflow even more.
And this disease sometimes can have a bubble-like feeling. Other symptoms include:
- Dyspnea or difficulty in breathing
- Wheezing sound while breathing
- Chest tightness
- Coughing, etc.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is another chronic condition.
However, this is associated with smoking. This disease can present in two different forms that are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
In this disease, there’s a destruction and permanent dilation of the alveoli.
So, this creates permanently enlarged air pockets in the lungs. The size of the lungs is also increased. In the case of emphysema, the patients have difficulty in breathing, but no cough.
This disease affects the bronchus. The glands present in the bronchus secrete a lot of mucus. This mucus plugs the airways. This results from a chronic inflammatory process due to toxins present in cigarettes.
In this condition, there’s plenty of coughing. And a lot of mucus comes out with the cough. A bubbling feeling can also be felt sometimes.
This is a disorder of the blood vessels of the lungs. Normally, air is not supposed to be inside the artery or veins.
However, in some cases, air may get inside the blood vessels. This condition is called air embolism.
No matter where the air enters, it mainly affects the lungs. The air travels through the veins to the right side of the heart. Then it goes to the lungs through the pulmonary artery. As the pulmonary artery branches out, the individual branches become smaller.
The air can obstruct these smaller branches. This is the basic problem of air embolism. This can cause blood flow obstruction and cell death. However, this might cause a bubble feeling in the chest.
Atelectasis means the collapse of the lungs. It occurs when the lung can’t expand properly. There are two types of atelectasis, congenital and acquired. In congenital atelectasis, the baby is born with collapsed lungs.
In acquired atelectasis, an external abnormality can cause a collapse of the lungs. This happens due to airway obstruction, resorption, fibrosis, tumor, air or fluid in the pleura, etc.
Conditions of the Pleura
The pleura is the membrane covering the lungs. This is a double-layer membrane. And it contains a small amount of fluid in between.
The integrity of this fluid, as well as the membrane, is important for normal lung expansion and contraction.
If there’s too much fluid, then it’s called pleural effusion. And sometimes, even air bubbles can enter this space. This can happen due to trauma. This is known as pneumothorax. All of these conditions may cause a bubble feeling.
Some conditions of the heart can be responsible for bubble feeling in the left side of the chest. The most prominent of them is arrhythmia.
Arrhythmia means an irregular heartbeat. There are many types of arrhythmias. In this case, the one likely to be the culprit is atrial fibrillation.
The heart consists of four chambers. Two ventricles are at the bottom and two atria are at the top. In atrial fibrillation, the muscles of the atria contract irregularly. So, this can cause a fluttering feeling in the chest. And with that, there may also be a bubble feeling.
Sometimes, patients with heart failure may experience this feeling as well. Fluid builds up in the lungs as pulmonary edema. Hence, this is a cause as well.
Apart from the above mentioned factors, there are other reasons that can cause a bubble feeling in the left side of your chest. So see for yourself.
Precordial Catch Syndrome
In this disease, some nerves of the chest are irritated. Scientists aren’t sure why this occurs. But they believe that the intercostal nerves are responsible.
These nerves supply the chest wall, the pleura, and the pericardium. So, a bubble feeling might be associated with this condition as well.
Sometimes, some mental conditions can be responsible as well. Stress and anxiety can make the nerves more sensitive. And this can cause a bubble feeling in the chest as well.
How do you get rid of an air bubble in your chest?
Answer: You can try drinking plenty of fluids to remove an air bubble in your chest. Mild stretching and exercising might also help. In severe cases, otc medications like PPIs and antacids might help.
Can you feel gas bubbles in your chest?
Answer: Sometimes, gas bubbles can be felt in the chest as well. The stomach is situated just below the heart. That’s why the gas can be felt in the chest.
What does trapped gas in the chest feel like?
Answer: Trapped gas can give a painful feeling especially if they accumulate. The pain can be sharp stabbing. It’s most often in the chest or in the abdomen.
‘Bubble feeling in the chest left side’ can be a cause of concern. It’s something that many people complain about. So, if you’re feeling this, then you’re not alone.
However, in most cases, this is not that serious. But if it’s recurring and you have other symptoms, it’s best to go see a doctor. They can properly diagnose your condition and treat you accordingly.