Pleurisy, also called pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleura. Pleurisy can be generated by a variety of infectious and non-infectious causes. Pleurisy is caused by swelling and irritation of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Certain autoimmune diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus) can irritate the pleura. It is usually a symptom of another illness. It is also called Pleuritic Chest Pain. Pleurisy can develop from many things, including bacterial or viral infections of the lungs (such as pneumonia), TB, lupus, chest injury or trauma, a blood clot in the lung, or cancer. Sometimes a cause cannot be found. The effects of pleurisy can often be felt long after the condition has gone away.The hallmark of pleurisy is severe chest pain that starts suddenly.

The pain is often strong or stabbing when you take a deep breath. It usually subsides or disappears between breaths. It’s usually felt on one side of the stomach area or lower chest. Deep breathing and coughing often make it worse. Pleurisy causes fluid to collect inside the lung area. Breathing may be rapid and shallow because deep breathing induces pain; the muscles on the painful side move less than those on the other side. When an accumulation of fluids (pleural effusion) is associated with pleurisy, the pain usually disappears because the fluid serves as a lubricant. Treatment depends on what is causing the pleurisy. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Viral infections normally run their course without medications. Fluid in the lungs may be removed by thoracentesis and checked for signs of infection.

Early treatment of bacterial respiratory infections can prevent pleurisy. In the case of heart, lung, or kidney disease, management of the underlying disease can help prevent the fluid collection. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help relieve some of the signs and symptoms of pleurisy. Prescription codeine may help control a cough as well as the pain. Anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), or naproxen (Naprosyn) also helpful against pleurisy. You may even receive stronger medicine, such as codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), or oxycodone (Percocet). Most pleurisy is caused by infection and is unavoidable. You can avoid severe pleuritic chest pain by early diagnosis and treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Pleurisy Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Rest is also important to aid in the recovery process.

2. (NSAIDs) may help relieve some of the signs and symptoms of pleurisy.

3. Codeine-based cough syrup will be prescribed to control a painful cough.

4. Avoid severe pleuritic chest pain by early diagnosis and treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs.

5. Traditional Chinese medicine uses the herb ephedra (Ephedra sinica), which acts to open air passages

6. Large doeses of vitamin C, may also provide health benefits to people with pleurisy.

7. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, adequate protein, and good quality fats help to heathy body.


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