Pleurisy, otherwise called as pleuritis is a condition wherein pleura, a membrane that lines the inner side of the chest cavity and layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs, gets inflamed. During inflammation, the pleura is swollen, they rub against each other in a very painful way every time your lungs expand as you take a breath. When you inhale deeply, cough, sneeze or laugh you’ll experience a sharp, stabbing pain. Pleurisy can arise from viral infection, bacterial infections, and fungal infections.

The autoimmune disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis, drug hypersensitivity, lung cancer, rib fracture, inherited diseases such as sickle cell disease are all responsible for causing pleurisy. However, pleurisy is easily treatable and is short-life, usually within days or a week of treatment.

Signs And Symptoms

  • Experiencing sharp chest pain that worsens while breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Frequent coughing or sneezing
  • High fever and chills
  • Blood clots in the lungs on diagnosis
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the shoulders or back.

 

Diagnosis And Treatment

Physicians usually recommend tests such as blood tests, chest X-ray, computerized tomography scan, ultrasound, electrocardiogram for diagnosis. Pleural fluid and tissue are collected and tested along with procedures such as thoracentesis and thoracoscopy are also performed for diagnosis.

Pleurisy and pleural effusion treatment is based on the underlying cause. In cases of bacterial pneumonia antibiotics are provided for reducing infection. On the other hand, viral infections are treated with adequate rest and intake of fluids help in relieving the pain in pleurisy.

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