I have coughing, sneezing ear pain and shoulder pain. What could this be? I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and without taking any tests or examining me, the ER doctor diagnosed me with a common cold with bronchitis. Unfortunately I am a smoker and scared
Hard to say. The shoulder pain doesn't fit well into the er doc's diagnosis. Ear pain can come from eustachian tube dysfunction due to irritation at the back of the throat. Heart pain can radiate to the shoulder and with you being a smoker perhaps an ekg or chest x-ray is warranted. Time to get help in stopping smoking?
The . The er physician's role is to check for immediately life-threatening conditions. They do not do a full medical evaluation. To dig deeper, you need to see a good internal medicine physician. While a number of viral infections or pneumonias can last more than 2 weeks, it is wise to get it checked. The shoulder pain may or may not be related. The hoarseness and cough can be from vocal cord polyps or other mouth or throat conditions. Your internist can decide if an otolanryngologist (ear nose throat) needs to see you as well. There is a triad of smoking, shoulder pain, and hand numbness that can indicate a pancoast tumor--a lung cancer in the upper-most portion of the lung that pinches nerves in the neck or armpit. There are screening criteria for smokers to monitor them for lung cancer. You should establish care with a good primary care physician for ongoing care. Most importantly, it is time to quit smoking! there are so many ways to get help quitting. It is the best gift you can give yourself.