Symptoms of Atelectasis and Pneumothorax

Difficulty breathing and chest pain are symptoms of both atelectasis and pneumothorax. Those symptoms may also indicate another serious condition, so always seek emergency medical attention if you experience:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the chest or radiating to the shoulder or back
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cyanosis (a bluish tinge to the skin, especially around the mouth, eyes and nails)
  • Feeling faint or losing consciousness with any of these symptoms

Diseases of the thoracic region (chest cavity) can be life threatening and should not be ignored. Chest pain is a common symptom of thoracic diseases, which can be caused by a number of serious conditions, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Digestive ailments
  • Musculoskeletal problems

Other causes of chest pain may not be as serious but may still require medical attention, including:

  • Some respiratory infections
  • Shingles (before the development of the signature rash)
  • Strain from exercise
  • Trauma to the rib cage or sternum (breastbone)

While not all chest pain is a sign of a serious illness, it is important for you to see a physician if you experience symptoms such as tightness or pain in the chest, shortness of breath, persistent heartburn or reflux, as these may be indicative of a serious medical condition.*


If you have back pain, leg pain, and changes in bowel and bladder habits, you should seek an immediate medical evaluation by your physician.