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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is pleurisy?
Pleurisy is inflammation of the thin membranes that line the lungs and chest wall. These double-layered membranes lubricate and protect the lungs as they expand and contract inside the ribcage. In pleurisy, the membranes become rough and rub together, causing sharp, …
What are the symptoms of pleurisy?
The most common symptom of pleurisy is a moderate to severe stabbing pain in the chest that feels worse during breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Other symptoms may include fever, dry cough and breathing difficulties.
What causes pleurisy?
In most cases, pleurisy occurs when a viral or bacterial infection of the airways spreads to the lining of the lungs. Less commonly, pleurisy may be caused by another factor that results in damage and inflammation to the lung surface. Some examples include a blood …
How is pleurisy diagnosed?
A diagnosis of pleurisy is usually based upon symptoms and characteristic findings from listening to the chest with a stethoscope. Your doctor may also collect a blood sample or look more closely at your chest and lungs using an X-ray, ultrasound or computerized …
How is pleurisy treated?
Pleurisy caused by a viral infection usually clears after a few days without the need for treatment. In contrast, a bacterial infection will most likely be treated with antibiotics.
Are there different types of pleurisy?
Pleurisy can also be described as 'wet' or 'dry', depending on whether a build-up of fluid occurs in the pleural space between the two layers of the lung lining. In wet pleurisy, a large volume of fluid collects in the pleural space. As the name …
Is pleurisy contagious?
Although pleurisy is not technically contagious, the viruses and bacteria that cause it may be spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact with someone with an infection.
Can pleurisy be prevented?
In many cases, pleurisy cannot be prevented. However, the chances of developing an initial infection may be reduced by avoiding people who are unwell. Similarly, teaching good hygiene habits to children may help to prevent spread of viruses and bacteria. …
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 10 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Votes: 252 (Click smiley face below left to rate)