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Matt asked...

Chest problems

Tags: smoking

Hi, I am a 31 year old male, fairly healthy, non-smoker or drinker. I have recently had a virus which started with pains when breathing (doctor assumed pleurisy although couldn't hear anything in chest). The pains went within 3 days, but I have been feeling very strange since. Get out of breath easily and quite fatigued, headaches and the feeling of light-headed-ness almost all the time. My Dr thinks I am just sill recovering from a virus (started 4 weeks ago) but my head just feels so strange, like I am near to fainting at times (although blood pressure normal when measured). I have no stress in life, so not sure what is going on. My question is, are there any obvious signs/checks a doctor can do to rule out something like a blood clot/brain tumor? I know that this is unlikely, but I have heard it is like a silent killer, so without doing a MRI - how would a doctor suspect you might have something sinister?

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The answer

It is not unusual to take several weeks to recover from a viral infection, especially those affecting the chest. Any doctor can do a neurological examination where they assess cranial nerves 1-14, where they assess for neurological problems. A clot or bleed on the brain can cause severe debilitating headaches, extreme sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting and affect motor control to facial muscles, arms and legs, usually one side or the other, as well as speech and swallowing.

Small brain masses are harder to check for without scanning, as where a mass or tumor is located dictate symptoms. Some have no symptoms at all and are found incidentally or when more serious symptoms develop. So we would suggest follow up with your GP to reassess you. Dizziness is commonly associated with inner ear problems, has your GP ruled out labrynthitis or inner ear inflammation? Hopefully this will help you.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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