Chest infection v. neuropathic buzzing?

This is an odd one, but does anyone else have trouble telling the difference between these two?

I’m conscious of something not feeling quite right in my chest. I don’t think it can be anything very serious, as my breathing is not compromised to any noticeable extent. I did a very steep and hard hill-climb on Tuesday, and seemed alright with that (i.e. I could keep up with people 20-25 years older, which is OK, in an MS-ish sort of way).

But today I have a kind of buzzing in my chest, and the weird thing is I’m not sure whether I’m wheezing, or whether it’s one of those internal vibrations, beloved of MS, that just happens to be in my chest this time. I wasn’t even sure if it wasn’t my bra, creaking under the strain!

I have more-or-less permanent rhinitis (runny nose) and sore throat (not necessarily anything to do with MS), which have been treated periodically, and do seem a bit worse these past few weeks. But I’m not actually conscious of having had a heavy cold lately, or that it’s migrated to my chest. I have a “scratchy” cough, but that’s almost always there, and seems to be purely a throat thing, not the chest (not deep, rattly, or productive).

But I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible to have a chest infection and not realise, or if the chest buzz is purely neuropathic. I feel OK in myself, apart from the recent upsurge in the allergy-type stuff, and this very minor buzzing.

Any thoughts?



Normally with your chest if you put your habd under your breast and to the side you can feel it rattle can u feel anything with your hand or can u just feel it inside of you xx sorry if not much help.

Hi Tina I think that if you are concerned it maybe something that is not MS you should get it checked out. It is tricky sometimes but if it did turn out to be a chest infection it would be better to get it treated sooner rather than later. Having said that I get a mild buzzing in my chest. I mainly notice it at night when I am lying quietly and trying to get to sleep! Very annoying! Sorry couldn’t be more helpful. Mish x

I’m still no wiser which it is. I’ve tried putting my hand over the place, and I don’t think I can feel anything on the outside. But I’m not sure how reliable that is, as I don’t know if my sense of touch might be flaky as well - annoying that I can often feel vibrations that aren’t there, but not always real ones that are.

It seems more noticeable when tired, though, which does point to it being neuropathic. If it was fluid on my chest, then surely it would be more consistent, and not vary according to how tired I am. Also I tend to notice it when breathing in, but not every breath. Again, if it were due to some kind of congestion, I’d expect it to be repeatable on demand, and not just “now and then”. I can’t reproduce it at will, even I intentionally take a very deep breath.

I’m already well overdue for a doctor’s appointment. I keep putting it off, because it’s such a hassle even getting one these days, and then another hassle getting to it. I already have at least two other issues she needs to discuss with me (rather than the other way around - LoL), so unless I manage to book a double appointment, I can’t even see us getting as far as the chest buzzing!

If it was a chest infection, apparently the most likely is plain old bronchitis, which is usually “self-limiting, without treatment”. So unless it gets worse or goes on for months, I suppose it won’t make it to the top of the list of things I need to tell her…



Hi Tina

I hope you feel better soon. From what you have said today it does sound more like a neuropathic pain so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it clears up soon. Perhaps you’ve just overdone things lately?

When I read the start of the thread, I did remember the time when my mum had a chest infection and she was just very tired. She didn’t have a cough and when the GP checked her over he said she wouldn’t have been able to cough as her chest was so bad. She had not had a cold and had no other symptoms except the extreme fatigue and eventually a high temperature. My son had a chest infection when he was pre-school age and it presented in the same way, he suddenly became very lethargic and had a fever. So just because you have no clear cough and haven’t had a cold doesn’t mean you don’t have a chest infection.

In your case though, it doesn’t sound like anything serious. I think that’s another thing that non MSers don’t understand - our constant worry of trying to work out what is caused by the MS and what is serious enough to warrant a visit to the GP. Just another thing to add to our uncertain world …

Hope you feel more like your normal self soon

Tracey x