Pleurisy: Inflammation in the Chest Cavity
Pleurisy is a medical term for the pain caused in the chest due to inflammation in the chest cavity while heavy breathing. This name has come into the light from the word pleura, which is a thin membrane with twin layers that lines the lungs from inside and outside while separating them from the chest cavity. In nutshell, pleura is a thin layer of tissue that wraps the lungs.
In the middle of the inner and outer layer, there is a wee gap filled with little amount of fluid. This allows our lungs to contract and expand while breathing. The tissues and layer will get inflamed and swollen in pleurisy. So, whenever you breathe in and out, it will pain like a sharp stabbing but when you hold your breath, it will reduce the pain. But how long one can hold their breath!
Chest pain is not something to turn a blind eye to. If you are experiencing an unpleasant sensation while deep breathing then, you need to be evaluated by the doctor for pleurisy. Mostly, chest pain is related to the heart. However, there are certain factors which can cause trouble while breathing. But! How will you know this is pleurisy? Read this out!
Symptoms of Pleurisy:
If you have any of the below symptoms, please reach us out for a check up!
- Sharp and stabbing like chest pain
- Excessive chest pain when you breath in and out
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden weight loss
- Fever and cough
- Extreme fatigue and weakness
From the above, the top 3 are the main symptoms of pleurisy. Pleuritic pain can aggravate the situation and spread the pain even to the shoulders or neck as you move your upper body. Pleurisy can get life-threatening over time. So, please don’t overlook them.
What are the causes of Pleurisy?
On top of symptoms, you might be wondering what gets one down to the pleurisy. Know it all! It is mostly caused by any viral infection.
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Fungal infection
- Lung cancer
- A blood clot in your lung
- Autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, lupus etc.
- Chest injury, rib fracture or trauma
- Sickle cell disorder
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Certain medications or drugs
Any of the above mentioned can be the cause of pleurisy. Before it becomes fatal, we recommend you get your test done. We offer comprehensive ways to diagnose pleurisy such as blood test, chest x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, ECG etc. In a few cases, our health care provider may recommend you to go under two procedures. One is thoracentesis, in which a sample of fluid from the pleural space is removed for testing. Another is, thoracoscopy, a kind of biopsy, in which a sample of tissue is removed from pleural space for further testing in the laboratory. Book your test now before it’s too late!