Painful airways upon breathing

Patient

Q: I hope you can help, i have been to doctor with nothing. Sometimes when I breath my Airway (not chest) feels like its breathing in a knife. Its usually on one side (right side) its not my chest or rib cage area. Its my airway. Thanks for any help. Im alittle worried, I would like to add i smoked alot for 5 years but have quit.
This happens sporadic but its painful, started in 08 went away and recently came back. I currently dont smoke and im 34.

Doctor

A:   If the pain you described is on the upper airways, you will need to see an ENT (ears-nose-throat) specialist so your concerns can be addressed accordingly. If you are scared of certain cancers, yes, it is true that smoking is a risk factor. An otolaryngologist can scope into your airways and throat and see if there really is something going on there, a mass or inflammation. If the the pain you are having is somewhere in the middle of your chest or your breastbone, then it could be costochondritis (inflammed cartilages of ribs) or some muscle inflammation on that area. Try taking some Ibuprofen (Advil) and see if it helps. I do hope I have answered your question and take care always.

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