Burning sensation in the lungs

Burning sensation in the lungs

A burning sensation in the lungs has several potential causes. Although this symptom is not generally a cause for alarm, occasionally it may indicate a serious condition needing treatment.

Especially if the cause is unclear, burning pain in the chest area can be troubling. Many causes are relatively benign, however.

We look at some of the common causes of a burning sensation in the lungs in this article and clarify when an individual needs medical emergency support.

We also look at the current evidence linking burning chest pain to COVID-19, the disease that the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes.

Is it serious?

Heart rate checkup

Pain in the chest might be linked to any of the organs and systems in that part of the body. These include the tube that connects the throat and stomach, which is the ribcage, lungs , heart, and esophagus (food pipe).

Experiencing a burning sensation in the lungs is not unusual, and it is typically not something serious. However, it could be a sign of a heart attack in some situations.

When to seek emergency help

When the heart stops obtaining the oxygen-rich blood it needs to survive, a heart attack occurs. Immediate treatment is required in this medical emergency.

Symptoms of a heart attack in males

The signs of a heart attack for males might include:

  • pain or discomfort in the center of the chest, which may feel like burning, pressure, or squeezing
  • pain that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes over time
  • pain or discomfort in one or both arms or the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweat
  • nausea
  • lightheadedness

Symptoms of a heart attack in females

In addition to experiencing of chest pain or discomfort, a woman with a heart attack is more likely to experience:

  • shortness of breath
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pain in the jaw
  • pain in the back

People can immediately call 911 if they or anyone else has signs of a heart attack.

Common causes

Burning pain in the chest can be caused by a different variety of causes.


Heartburn, or indigestion of acid, occurs when acid in the stomach rises into the esophagus.

In the chest, neck, throat, or jaw, it may cause a painful, burning sensation. Heartburn is the probable cause if the pain goes away when the person belches.

The symptoms of heartburn can be relieved by over-the-counter ( OTC) drugs.

Chest infection

All examples of chest infections include common colds, bronchitis , and pneumonia. As well as chest pain, symptoms that are typical include:

In order to treat a bacterial chest infection, physicians can prescribe antibiotics.

Asthma attack

Asthma is a disorder that is long-term. People with asthma have bronchial tubes that are inflamed. These are the passageways in and out of the lungs that carry air.

When the muscles around the tubes tighten, an asthma attack occurs, making the air passages very narrow.

A person who has an asthma attack may feel as if someone is sitting on his chest.

The episode could only last a few minutes and get better on its own, or it could run for hours. People find it so difficult to breathe often that they need to go to the hospital for help.

Typically, people with asthma have an inhaler that helps relax the muscles around the tubes, allowing air to get more quickly into and out of the lungs.

Less common causes

A burning sensation in the lungs can also be caused by less common conditions.

Pulmonary embolism

A blockage in the arteries that supply the lungs with the blood they need to survive is a pulmonary embolism.

A common cause of pulmonary embolism is deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in the leg. If a blood clot breaks out, begins circulating the body, and becomes trapped in a lung artery, blocking the flow of blood, pulmonary embolism occurs.

It is a very dangerous condition that can cause the lungs and other organs to undergo irreversible damage.

The signs of a pulmonary embolism could include:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • coughing up blood

Doctors will usually treat the problem with medication to thin the blood or dissolve the clot.

They can also prescribe the removal of a catheter-assisted thrombus. To reach into the lung and extract the clot, this surgical technique involves using a flexible tube.

Lung cancer

A burning sensation in the chest can be a symptom of lung cancer in rare cases.

For all, the symptoms are different, and some individuals may have no symptoms at all. Those who do might encounter:

  • a pain in the chest that gets worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • a cough that does not go away or keeps getting worse
  • appetite loss
  • tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing
  • chest infections that keep coming back

Treatment choices will be determined by the form and severity of the cancer.

Treatment will usually involve a combination of chemotherapy , radiotherapy, and surgery. Treatment is often not necessary, and doctors will concentrate on relieving the cancer symptoms.

Burning pain in the chest and COVID-19

Researchers do not yet know if COVID-19 can cause burning chest pain, but there has been a correlation between this symptom and the disease noted by some researchers.

A potential symptom of COVID-19 is chest pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC).

There are other signs that may include:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • tiredness
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • a sore throat
  • a stuffy or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea


A doctor will first question them about the symptoms and their personal and family medical history to decide why a person is feeling a burning pain in their chest.

In order to listen to the chest and perform blood tests, X-rays, and other tests, they can use a stethoscope.

If the doctor suspects COVID-19, he or she will ask the individual to take a SARS-CoV-2 virus swab test.

Home remedies
If it is due to heartburn, OTC pain relief drugs may help alleviate moderate chest pain, but people should consider talking to a doctor in most cases.

The American Heart Association ( AHA) suggests that people with heartburn should be able to reduce their symptoms by:

  • avoiding alcohol and cigarettes
  • refraining from taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication
  • avoiding drinking citrus juices
  • stopping eating a few hours before bedtime
  • raising the head of the bed by about 6 inches, if heartburn occurs at night
  • taking OTC medications for indigestion


A burning sensation in the chest has several potential causes. The majority have nothing to worry about, like heartburn.

Some, however, such as a heart attack, are a medical emergency.

Anyone who suspects they may have a heart attack or someone else should call 911 right away.

Doctors are not yet sure whether the symptom of COVID-19 is chest pain, but some assume that it is.

Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 should talk to a doctor.