Bubbling in Chest When Lying Down – 20 Causes and Possible Treatments!

Bubbling in chest when lying down is a weird sensation that you may describe as gurgling or cracking or as bubbles are rising in your chest. Indeed, many people experience a bubbling or gurgling sensation when they go to bed, after eating or doing some activity. 

So, why are you having this problem? As a matter of fact, the condition is most likely the result of an underlying cause, whether severe or mild. 

The sensation of bubbling may be experienced alone or along with other symptoms. Treatment options for bubbling in the chest when lying down depend on its root cause.

What Causes Bubbling in Chest When Lying Down?

Bubbling in the chest occurs when your stomach or lungs are not working properly. Indeed, a variety of conditions causes the gurgling sound or bubbling sensation at any time of the day or night. 

Bubbling in chest when lying down

Some of these conditions should be taken seriously, while others could resolve on their own. Nevertheless, this condition is annoying and causes discomfort. 

Here are a few possible causes and treatment options for bubbling in the chest when lying down. 

GERD – Weird Feeling in Chest When Lying Down

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder is a digestive disorder. In this condition, stomach juice or content flows back into the esophagus. It results in irritation and damage to the esophagus and stomach lining. 

GERD – Weird Feeling In Chest When Lying Down

Indeed, heartburn with a bubbly sensation is the hallmark of GERD. But, the sensation can come and go. A puffy feeling often follows eating. Yet, the symptoms of GERD worsen when people lie or recline in bed, which makes it harder for them to get a good night’s sleep.

Apart from the bubbling sensation in the middle of the chest, the following are the most evident symptoms of GERD:

In the case of GERD, antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 blockers help to get rid of its symptoms. Apart from these, some antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory diet help a lot. Besides these, don’t lay immediately after eating to avoid bubbling and heartburn.

Pleural Effusion – Bubbling Sensation With Breathing Difficulty

Pleural effusion is also known as “water on the lungs.” In this condition, an unusual fluid buildup occurs in the pleura – the pleura is the thin layer of tissues that protects the lungs and chest wall.

Fluid buildup in the pleural space may lead to bubbling sensations in the chest along with breathing difficulty. 

Pleural Effusion – Bubbling Sensation With Breathing Difficulty

The cause of pleural effusion may vary. Probably from the leakage of fluids from other organs, lung cancer, pneumonia, or another lung infection lead o pleural effusion. 

The following are a few prominent symptoms of pleural effusion:

  • Labored breathing
  • Chest pain (in particular, when you breathe deeply)
  • Dry cough
  • Fever

As many medical conditions can cause fluid buildup in the pleura, your doctor will likely target the treatment to the cause. Thus, treatment options include diuretics, antibiotics, and fluid drainage. 

Pleural Effusion drainage

Pneumomediastinum – Bubbling Feeling in Chest, No Pain

Pneumomediastinum is a rare respiratory disorder. It is also known as mediastinal emphysema. In this condition, air leaks into the mediastinum and accumulates in the upper chests. 

Some people experience a bubbling sensation in their chest as a result.

Typically, this condition is caused by lung injury or blunt force trauma. Also, severe coughing and vomiting and some surgeries may result in air trapped between the lungs. 

Pneumomediastinum – Bubbling Feeling In Chest, No Pain

Your symptoms may indicate that you have pneumomediastinum, causing your bubbling sensation:

  • Chest pain (when you breathe deeply or cough badly)
  • Hoarseness
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Throat pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Air accumulation beneath the skin
  • Rapid heartbeat

Often, no treatment is required because the air from the mediastinum is slowly absorbed. But, a chest tube may be placed if pneumothorax is present in combination with pneumomediastinum. Also, when you breathe high oxygen concentrations, the air in your mediastinum may absorb more quickly.

Bibasilar Crackles – Bubbling Sound in Chest When Lying Down

Do you ever wonder what a physician hears when he puts his stethoscope behind your chest? Indeed, they examine the lung’s abnormal sound, also known as bibasilar crackles or rales.

Bibasilar Crackles – Bubbling Sound In Chest When Lying Down

Bibasilar crackles are the crackling or bubbling sounds in the chest originating from the lungs’ base. Most often, it sounds like a short popping sound when you breathe. Also, some people explain crackles as like a fireplace burning wood. 

Even though these crackles aren’t diseases, they can signify certain infections or illnesses—for instance, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, interstitial lung disease, or pulmonary fibrosis. In fact, they might even indicate an obstruction in the airflow.

Indeed, this occurs because of excess mucus or fluid gathering in the lungs or due to the lungs not inflating and exhaling properly. Another possible cause of crackles is damaged lungs. 

Depending on the cause, basilar crackles may also be accompanied by other symptoms. Among these symptoms are:

  • Sensation of suffocation
  • Breathing shortness
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Fever

You can usually achieve treatments for lung crackles with antibiotics and antiviral medications. Further, bronchodilators, steroids, and oxygen therapy can also help. Besides, your doctor may prescribe you some high-potency drugs and treatments for some severe cases.

Dyspepsia – Weird Bubbly Feeling in Chest

Dyspepsia is known as indigestion. Indeed, it is not severe, but it could indicate a stomach disorder. You will experience discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen

Dyspepsia – Weird Bubbly Feeling In Chest

It is characterized by a bubbling sensation and gurgling in the stomach. In general, indigestion occurs after you eat. Following are a few symptoms of dyspepsia: 

In general, dyspepsia is caused by smoking, drinking, and some OTC medications. Besides, H.Pylori overgrowth may cause indigestion. Also, overeating or lying immediately after eating can delay digestion.

In general, dyspepsia symptoms resolve on their own. But, drinking water, avoiding stomach triggers, and taking a short walk can relieve gut discomfort. 

Moreover, antacids, PPIs, H2 blockers, antibiotics, and prokinetics can ease the dyspepsia symptoms. 

Asthma – Bubbling Pain in Chest When Breathing

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition. It mainly occurs due to muscle tightening around the airways and inflammation that narrows the passageways. As a result, breathing becomes difficult. Apart from that, it can disrupt daily life activities and make them difficult or impossible.

Asthma – Bubbling Pain In Chest When Breathing

A typical asthma attack consists of the sensation of a bubbling pain in the chest. Besides bubbling in your chest, asthma attacks can also trigger wheezing, coughing, and a tightening feeling in your lungs.

Following are a few symptoms of asthma in adults:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty in sleeping because of breathing difficulty
  • Seesaw motion in the chest
  • Pressure or tightness in the chest
  • Frequent infections
  • Panic attack 

An asthma attack is triggered by pollens, spores, dust particles, and pet dander. Also, cold or exercise can trigger asthma flare-ups. 

Asthma triggers

As for asthma treatment, currently, there is no cure for the disease. However, some drugs help to control the symptoms of asthma. It is mostly provided in the form of inhalers. But, if your symptoms are severe, your doctor will prescribe some tablets and other treatments. 

Lung Tumor 

Bubbling feeling in the chest area can occur due to a lung tumor. Typically, it is a condition in which abnormal division or death of cells in the lungs or airways happens. Therefore, it results in tumors. However, the tumor may be benign or cancerous.

Lung tumor

A lung tumor causes bubbling and weird feelings in the chest. Moreover, it is characterized by the following symptoms and signs:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Cough with blood or sputum
  • Cough that may worsen or even persist
  • Loss of appetite
  • High fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Ongoing chest infection 
  • Persistence fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Indeed, anyone can get lung cancer. But, smokers and people who live in smoky areas are at high risk of lung tumors. Moreover, genetic factors or being exposed to harmful substances can cause tumors.

Healthy vs smokers' lungs

You can treat small-sized tumors with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and target therapy. Sometimes, doctors recommend surgery or operation to remove cancerous cells. 

Pneumothorax – Air Bubbles In Lungs In Adults

In general, a pneumothorax means a collapsed lung. In this condition, air enters the pleural space, which forces the lungs to push down from the air pressure. Indeed, pneumothorax is complete or partial collapsing of the lungs. 

A small amount of air might not cause any symptoms. However, more air will make it difficult to breathe and cause part of the lung to collapse. 

Pneumothorax – Air Bubbles In Lungs In Adults

As a result of lung collapse, air is forced into the lungs. It may feel like air bubbles are rising and popping up in your lungs. Regardless of how mild the symptoms are, it’s a medical emergency. 

The following symptoms characterize lung collapse:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Bluish skin.
  • Sharp pain in the chest
  • Chest tightness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Flared nostrils

The cause of a pneumothorax may be due to no apparent reason, or it may be caused by lung damage, an unexpected injury, or even a medical procedure. 

It is usually necessary to remove excess air from the lungs via a chest tube or needle inserted between the ribs. But, some small pneumothorax will resolve on their own.

Atrial Fibrillation – Feeling of Flutter in The Chest

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that occurs irregularly and often very rapidly. It can cause blood clots in the heart. Cardiovascular complications, such as stroke and heart failure, are more likely to occur in people with A-fib.

Indeed, AFib occurs when the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) are out of sync because of faulty electrical signals. Therefore, it results in your heart wall quivering or fibrillating so fast. Moreover, damage to the heart’s electrical system can cause an irregular heartbeat.

Atrial fibrillation can cause a flattering and throbbing effect in the middle of the chest. Following are a few symptoms of an irregular heartbeat:

  • Rapid heart palpitations
  • Extreme chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Confusion and dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Afib episodes may come and go or last for a long time. A-fib is typically not life-threatening, but it is a severe medical condition that needs proper treatment to prevent strokes.

You may treat atrioventricular fibrillation (Afib) with medications, replace the faulty heart rhythms, and catheterize procedures to block the faulty signals.

Another Underlying Reason For Chest Bubbling

The following conditions may cause flattering or bubbling in the chest along with the conditions mentioned above. 

  • Angina
  • Myocarditis
  • Bronchitis 
  • Heart attack
  • Pleuritis
  • Lung cancer
  • Precordial catch syndrome
  • Air embolism

When to See a Doctor?

A bubbling sensation in the chest requires immediate medical attention. Even if the feeling is due to mild indigestion or fever, it can also mean an emergency such as collapsed lungs, lung tumor, or a heart attack. 

In the event of experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Sudden difficulty breathing
  • High fever
  • Chest pain that spreads to your necks, jaws, or shoulder (angina symptom)
  • Inability to walk or even stand
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Numbness in the legs and arms
  • An irregular pulse
  • The sensation of choking

A Final Remark

In the end, I’ve listed all the possible causes that can lead to bubbling in chest when lying down. However, you should not avoid this condition and consult a doctor if everything is normal. Otherwise, you could face serious health complications.

Moreover, live a balanced life. Live healthily, eat well, exercise, and have a gentle attitude toward life!

FAQs

What is an air bubble in the lungs?

A medical condition called pneumothorax may cause the pushing of air bubbles in the lungs. You can get rid of gas bubbles by moving your body, i.e., doing aerobics. Moreover, some medications may help as well. 

Can anxiety cause bubbling in the chest?

Indeed, anxiety and stress can cause bubbling in the chest. An increase in stress hormones is responsible for palpitations and other issues. Thus, it contributes to weird feelings in the chest. 

Can gas bubbles feel like heart palpitations?

In the case of GERD, bubbling symptoms mimic heart palpitations. Moreover, pain caused by intestinal gas relates to heart-related pain. 

Why does my chest sound like it’s popping?

When air sacs become inflamed or infected, popping or crackling sounds may occur in the chest. It primarily occurs due to pneumonia, heart failure, or strained muscles in the chest. 

How do you get rid of an air bubble in your chest?

Following are a few natural and home-based tricks to get rid of chest bubbles.

  • Drink warm water
  • Avoid possible triggers (pollens, dust particles, exercise, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle)
  • Do light aerobics

Besides these, you should consult a physician and take proper medical treatment. 

Aneeza Pervez

Aneeza Pervez

Hello, I'm Aneeza Pervez, I am a certified psychologist. Writing about mental health, wellness and a healthy lifestyle is something I specialize in. I also enjoy traveling, reading, entertaining, and composing. As a health advocate, I create content that educates people about how to be healthy. Health is wealth, so do your best to keep it!

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