If you have sharp chest pain that gets worse when you breathe in and out, and is accompanied by other symptoms such as a cough and breathlessness, it may be caused by a condition affecting the lungs or surrounding tissue, such as:
pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by an infection
pleurisy – inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs, also usually caused by an infection
Mild cases of pneumonia can usually be treated with antibiotics, rest and fluids. For people with other health conditions, the condition can be severe and they may need to be treated in hospital.
Treatment for pleurisy will depend on the underlying cause. Pleurisy caused by a viral infection will often resolve without needing treatment, whereas pleurisy caused by a bacterial infection will usually need to be treated with antibiotics.