Cold Feeling in Left Side of Chest: 3 Causes of Chest Pain You Must Know!

Angina or heart attack is what comes to our mind when we think about chest pain, but did you know that there are many other problems associated with chest discomfort? Pulmonary disorders are the main culprit of chest pain after heart diseases. If it’s the left side of your chest, then things might get complicated for you. 

So, are you experiencing a cold feeling in left side of chest

Well, there could be countless possible reasons for this, such as chest cold, thoracic outlet syndrome, anxiety, heart diseases, high blood pressure, pulmonary embolism, etc. But how would you realize what is the actual reason behind your chest pain? 

To learn all about the causes of the cold feeling on the left side of the chest, read this article now!  

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Cold Sensation in Upper Left Chest

cold sensation in heart area

If you are experiencing a cold icy feeling inside chest when breathing, then either it is a pulmonary disorder or it can be a panic attack due to anxiety. 

However, it’s not that simple as there can be many complications. Chest cold is the most common one.  

Most of the time we blame our heart for all the chest related-problems but let me tell you, it’s not always your heart! In fact, your lungs and even stomach share equal hands in causing chest pain. 

Reasons for Chest Pain

Cold Feeling in Left Side of Chest

Chest pain can be mild and sometimes so severe that it can even lead to death. However, this entirely depends upon the root cause of the pain. 

Following are some causes:

Chest Cold:

Chest cold, also known as acute bronchitis, is a pulmonary disorder that can be both due to bacterial or viral infection. It is known to affect nearly 5% of adults annually. 

In this condition, the pathogen invades your respiratory tract and causes inflammation. Thereby increasing mucus production in the lungs. 

Mucus is a thick fluid that when accumulated in the respiratory tract becomes a hurdle for the air to pass. This is why you have a cough with pulmonary disorders and feel a random cold feeling in chest.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of chest cold include 

  • Coughing 
  • Headache 
  • Chest congestion 
  • Chest tightness
  • Cold feeling in the left side of the chest
  • Body ache
  • Sore throat and leaky nose
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Chills

Treatment:

When it comes to treatment, chest colds cannot be treated with antibiotics because the cold can be due to a viral infection. 

Taking some rest and increasing the fluid intake might contribute to betterment. Using a humidifier and drinking ginger tea can also help in the treatment of chest cold. 

Coronavirus VS Normal Chest Cold:

Even after two years of Covid-19, people still can’t differentiate between coronavirus and chest cold. 

Differentiating between the two is important because both of them are contagious with differences in severity. Knowing their differences will allow you to understand what you might have.

Here, I’ll share with you some basic and significant differences between them:

  1. People with Covid-19 rarely sneeze and mostly don’t have a runny nose as compared to the patient with a chest cold. 
  1. Patients with coronavirus can have mild to severe headaches whereas those with acute bronchitis rarely have it. 
  1. One of the most distinguishing factors is coughing. 

Patients with Covid-19 have a dry cough with attacks of breathlessness (difficulty breathing) in severe cases. However, the patients with chest colds cough up mucus.   

  1. Covid-19 patients usually lose their sense of smell and taste whereas in acute bronchitis this never happens. 

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: 

This might sound strange but thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) can cause chest wall pain and sharp pain in the upper parts of the body. The affected regions include the upper region of the back, upper limbs, and sometimes the upper chest region too.

It is actually caused due to the compression of neurovascular bundles between the first rib and clavicle (collar bone).

There are three types of TOS, depending upon the type of vessel that is affected/compressed. These are:

  • Arterial
  • Venous 
  • Neurogenic     

Symptoms:

The symptoms vary from type to type but the common ones include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness or rarely a cold feeling in arm and shoulder
  • Reduction in the gripping force
  • Blood clots in the affected veins
  • Discoloration of the upper limbs particularly hands
  • Arm pain
  • Unusual pulse
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the neck region. 

Consult a doctor if you have these symptoms. Based on the severity of your condition, the doctor will provide treatments.

Panic Attack:  

When it comes to chest pain, heart health is always our main focus. But what if there isn’t any heart problem or pulmonary embolism

Then, panic disorder could be the real culprit! Chest pain along with chills is a common symptom of anxiety-related issues.    

Fear is the key initiator of anxiety

Just before a panic attack, the patient experiences fear which makes him hyperventilate. This reduces the efficient blood flow (vasoconstriction) thereby lowering the temperature of the body. 

Other Reasons for Chest Pain

There are hundreds of possible reasons for chest discomfort but the ground becomes narrow if we talk about pain on the left side of the chest

Angina pectoris is one of the most common symptoms of coronary artery disease. This may cause pain in the left side of the chest near the heart before a heart attack. 

When there is reduced blood flow towards the heart muscles, they die. This reduced blood flow can be due to the blockage of any coronary artery. 

However, the heart condition becomes worse eventually leading to heart failure if not taken care of. 

Another reason for chest pain can be muscle strain which is the inflammation of the muscular region of the chest due to any injury. 

Pericarditis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, hypertension (high blood pressure), and tuberculosis are some other causes of chest pain.    

Tips to Reduce or Bypass Cold Feeling in Left Side of Chest

cold sensation on left side of body

When it comes to experiencing a cold feeling in chest and throat, seeking medical help is necessary.

To reduce chest colds or chest infections, there are many ways. 

Initially, the pain can be well-managed at home but if the chest pain becomes worse, then without any delay, contact your healthcare professional! 

Following are some tips to reduce the symptoms: 

  1. A humidifier helps in reducing nasal congestion. It enhances the moisture thereby making it easy for you to breathe. 
  1. If it is a chest infection, then increasing your fluid consumption might help. 
  1. Some over-the-counter medicines can serve as pain killers. Make sure to consult your doctor as soon as possible if the pain radiates towards the left as it can be a sign of heart attack pain. 
  1. Intake of tea, especially ginger tea can help a lot in improving lung health because of its anti-inflammatory properties  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes a cold sensation in the chest?

A cold icy feeling inside the chest can be caused due to many reasons. The most common causes of chest pain can be chest cold, thoracic outlet syndrome, anxiety, and fear. Heart diseases and coronary artery disease are some serious health threats that radiate pain toward the left side of the chest and arm. 

What does left side chest pain indicate?

The most obvious indication of left side chest pain is heart disease. Mild chest pain radiating toward the left side is known as “Angina” which is the most obvious symptom of a heart attack. Other than this, chest discomfort can be caused due to pericarditis or any inflammation of the respiratory tract. When it comes to heart attack, the patient feels heaviness, chest tightness, and severe pain that radiates to the back, left arm, or maybe both arms. 

Why do I feel a cold sensation in my back?

Injury, drug overdose, renal problems, B12 deficiency, and many other factors can cause peripheral neuropathy. It is a condition in which peripheral nerves are damaged which are the main route of communication between the CNS and the whole body. The neuropathy can affect your neck and back and can make you feel a cold sensation in the back. 

Take Away

All in all, if you experience a cold feeling in left side of chest, then don’t directly blame your heart. It can be anxiety, thoracic outlet syndrome, or acute bronchitis commonly known as a chest cold. 

When it comes to a heart attack, the chest pain radiates toward the left arm, the chest becomes heavy and tight. However, in other cases, such exact symptoms aren’t observed.

To treat chest cold, you can use humidifiers, try some teas such as ginger tea, increase your fluid intake, and try some OTC medicines. 

Mehrosh Ahmer

Mehrosh Ahmer

My name is Mehrosh Ahmer and I’m currently a student of MBBS at Jinnah Sindh Medical University. My passion for studying the wonder that is the human body and the desire to give back to my society has led me to pursue a career in medicine. As I research, I learn more about my field, and it improves my understanding. This is why I enjoy writing the articles so that more people might get to read about subjects that they otherwise might never encounter.

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