Sometimes abrupt, sharp chest discomfort can seem like a bubble behind your ribcage is about to burst, like it’s about to break or compress.

This type of pain can be a sign of a number of different, more serious illnesses.

While some of these illnesses warrant worry, others might go away on their own.

Discover some typical causes for the bubbling sensation in your chest by reading on. I

f you experience this kind of pain, you should always visit a doctor for a diagnosis.


Precordial catch syndrome

When you breathe in, precordial catch syndrome makes your chest hurt. Most often, it affects persons in their teens or early 20s. The pain is immediate, intense, and without prior notice. It can take place once a week or just once, never again.

Contrary to popular belief, this syndrome rarely requires medical attention. Precordial catch syndrome may be brought on by inflamed or compressed nerves in the outer chest cavity.

To rule out more significant reasons for your discomfort, a specialist must diagnose this illness. Precordial catch syndrome, however, has no known cure, and most sufferers simply stop experiencing symptoms as they age.



The digestive disorder gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can give you a bubbling sensation in your chest. Stomach acid leaks into your esophagus tube when you have GERD. Acid reflux is a burning ache in your chest that can be brought on by stomach acid. Other GERD symptoms include having trouble swallowing and experiencing a lump in your throat.

Most GERD cases are identified by symptoms. Changing your diet and lifestyle, using over-the-counter antacids, and taking drugs that prevent your body from producing acid are all common therapies.



In addition to indigestion, dyspepsia can also result in nausea, bloating, and acid reflux. Your chest may also start to bubble and gurgle as a result.

Overgrowth of the H. pylori strain of bacteria, which is present in the bodies of more than half of humanity, can result in dyspepsia. Excessive drinking and taking over-the-counter medicines frequently on an empty stomach can also contribute to this illness.

Certain underlying causes of dyspepsia can be diagnosed with the aid of an endoscopy, blood test, or stool sample. Making meal choices that support the repair and calming of the stomach lining is a method of treating dyspepsia. Other medications, such as antacids, might also be administered.


lung effusion

The fluid that is entrapped in the tissue between your lung and the chest wall is called a pleural effusion. Shortness of breath and a bubbling sensation in the chest are two signs that this fluid is present.

This ailment is a sign of another medical problem. A pleural effusion can be caused by pneumonia, congestive heart failure, malignancy, trauma to the chest cavity, and more. Depending on the reason, many pleural effusion treatments exist.


Inflammation of the gallbladder

This can be caused by a simple infection, gallstones, or congested bile ducts. This organ’s inflammation may result in a pain or pressure sensation that starts in your abdomen and travels to your back and shoulders.

Your gallbladder’s condition and the cause of the inflammation will be determined by blood tests, an ultrasound, or a CT scan. Your physician will then suggest:

  • antibiotics
  • pain relievers
  • an operation to remove the gallbladder, the gallstones, or the obstruction causing the inflammation


When you have asthma, your chest may hurt and bubble up. Inflammation in the airways caused by asthma makes breathing difficult. Along with other factors, the following can cause asthma flare-ups:

  • exercise
  • weather
  • allergies

An asthma episode can cause you to cough, wheeze, or feel a tightening around your lungs in addition to bubbling in your chest. Your doctor will do a lung function test to determine if you have asthma.

In some cases, you’ll also need to visit an allergist to identify the specific irritants that are causing your asthma attacks.

The most typical treatment for asthma is to regularly inhale corticosteroids, take other drugs when your asthma flares up, and try to stay away from situations that make your asthma worse.



Pleurisy is an inflammation of the thin membrane that lines your chest cavity. This could be as a result of an infection, a broken rib, inflammation, or even a side effect of a few drugs.

The following are possible pleurisy symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain

Blood work is used to determine whether you have an infection before pleurisy is determined. Additionally, it can be identified via a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or ultrasound. Typically, pleurisy can be managed at home with an antibiotic or some downtime.


Atrial fibrillation

When you have atrial fibrillation, often known as “AFib,” your heartbeat becomes irregular. A bubbling sensation in your chest, an abnormally rapid heartbeat, dizziness, exhaustion, and shortness of breath are all warning signs.

The electrical system of the heart malfunctions and leads to AFib, which is typically brought on by coronary artery disease or excessive blood pressure.

A physical examination or an EKG can be used by your doctor to identify AFib. Medication to thin the blood, drugs to regulate heart rate, and occasionally surgical techniques to halt AFib and restore the heart’s normal rhythm are all examples of treatments.



Inflammation of the airways that enter and exit your lungs is known as bronchitis. Common signs and symptoms include a cough, a slight temperature, chills, and chest pains.

Your doctor can determine if you have bronchitis by listening to your breathing using a stethoscope. Sometimes additional tests are required, such as a chest X-ray. Home treatments and over-the-counter decongestants can be used to treat acute bronchitis as a cold.

An inhaler may occasionally be needed to treat chronic bronchitis, which can linger for three months or longer.


lung collapsed

Your lung (or a piece of your lung) could collapse as a result of air leaking from your lung into your chest cavity. While an injury is the most common cause of this leak, it can also be brought on by surgical treatment or underlying lung disease.

Chest tightness, chest pain, and shortness of breath are all signs of a collapsed lung. Other symptoms include low blood pressure and a fast heartbeat. A chest X-ray will probably be used to determine if you have a collapsed lung.

In order to cure this problem, it may occasionally be necessary to remove air from your chest cavity using a hollow plastic tube. Lung collapse is temporary. With treatment, a collapsed lung often gets well in 48 hours.


What else might this be due to?

There are other, less typical reasons why your chest could bubble up. This unpleasant sensation can be brought on by an air embolism, a lung tumor, and a relatively uncommon illness termed pneumomediastinum. This might possibly indicate a heart attack. It’s crucial to investigate the reasons behind any chest-bubble sensation you may encounter.


When should I go and visit a doctor?

If you experience a bubbling in your chest, you should always visit a doctor. Although GERD may be the cause, it’s crucial to rule out anything more serious.

You should seek emergency care right away if any of the following symptoms accompany your chest pain:

Shortness of breath that persists for longer than three minutes while at rest,

  • an irregular pulse
  • vomiting
  • a sensation of choking
  • numbness in your hand or side
  • or the inability to stand or walk


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