inflammation of the pleura (the membrane of the lungs).
What to look for
shortness of breath.
a dry cough.
You will find it very
difficult and painful to breathe if you have this condition and if you do not have it
treated immediately, could turn into pleural effusion. These two conditions are not
diseases and only happen as a result of an underlying disease.
A number of conditions
(most commonly congestive heart failure but including chest injuries, viral infections,
rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and cancer) can irritate the pleura.
Pleurisy and pleural
effusion are generally only as serious as the underlying disease. Seek medical attention
immediately if you havent already.
Each lung is surrounded by
the double-layered pleura. Normally these membranes are in constant contact with each
other as the lung moves in and out in the act of breathing. There is a small space between
these two layers that allows this movement. But when the layers become inflamed their
surfaces rub together disturbingly with every breath, sneeze, and cough. This condition is
known as pleurisy.
Pleural effusion occurs
when excess fluid seeps into the pleural space. The added fluid puts tremendous pressure
on the lungs, reducing their mobility and causing shortness of breath. This excess fluid
can, in some cases of pleural effusion, become infected, causing a condition known as
Your doctor will be able to
diagnose pleurisy with a physical examination which may have to be confirmed by an X-Ray.
It is usual for your doctor
to treat the disease which has caused pleurisy or pleural effusion first. In some cases of
pleural effusion, however, excess fluid must be drained.
Your doctor may prescribe
antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs as well as a diuretic to help drain the fluid
in the case of effusion.
Alternative treatments are
helpful in relieving the symptoms caused by this condition. However, you should first
consult a conventional doctor for your initial treatment.
Large doses of
vitamin C and vitamin
A may be recommended by your naturopath. But always consult your conventional doctor
first for a proper diagnosis of the ailment.
When to seek further