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Women's Health

Breast fluttering



I am 64 yrs. old and for the last month I have been having a sensation of "fluttering" or like a feather is inside my right breast tickling me. It is only noticable when I am resting,setting,reading, or quiet. No pain, and it is not in my chest, just my right breast. It last for 1-2 seconds. Thank you


Thanks for asking such an interesting question! It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause given the information you've provided and without an examination. However, there are some things that it will be important for you to look for.

One, are you seeing any changes in the skin of the breast or the nipple area? If it there is a spontaneous redness, or two, scaling or the appearance of dryness of the skin, you should see the provider right away for evaluation.

If there is any discharge from the nipple, it is important to see the provider right away for an examination as these are potentially serious conditions.

A forth possibility is that you could be experiencing an early symptom of a viral condition. These viruses usually live along the nerve and select a particular area called a dermatome for their activity. Patients often experience an intermittent itching or tickling sensation that progresses to discomfort and then a rash appears with blisters. This is called "shingles" and while it usually attacks the chest wall, it can occur any place along a nerve. If the tickling changes to pain or a rash develops, it's important to get to your provider quickly to get on medication that will help.

Another thought is that as we age, the elastic tissue in the breast tends to relax and often patients experience unusual sensations as that progresses. It is a "normal" result of aging and can be helped by assuring that you have your breasts well supported in a good fitting bra most of the time.

If none of the above seem to be the cause, watchful waiting is probably the best course. In the meantime, please be sure that you have had your annual mammogram and when you go to have it, be sure to mention the sensation so that the mammographer can pay special attention to that area to assure that there is not growth or infection there.

Hope this helps!

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Response by:

Elizabeth R Barker, APRN, BC, FNP, FAANP, CHE, PhD Elizabeth R Barker, APRN, BC, FNP, FAANP, CHE, PhD
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University