Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura, the membrane of the lungs.
Symptoms for Pleurisy include:
Pain in the chest
For Pleural effusion:
A dry cough
Shortness of breath
If you suffer with pleurisy you will find that it is very difficult and painful to breathe, and if it is not treated immediately, it could turn into pleural effusion. These two conditions are not diseases and only occur because of an underlying disease. There are a number of conditions that can irritate the pleura most commonly congestive heart failure but including viral infections, chest injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, pneumonia and cancer. They are both generally only as serious as the underlying disease. You should consult your doctor immediately if you have not already done so.
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. However when the layers become inflamed their surfaces rub together disturbingly with every breath, cough or sneeze and this is known as pleurisy. Pleural effusion is a result of excess fluid that seeps into the pleural space, this added fluid then puts tremendous pressure on the lungs, reducing the mobility and resulting in shortness of breath. This excess fluid, in some cases of pleural effusion has become infected, which then causes a condition known as emphysema. Your doctor will be able to diagnose pleurisy with a physical examination, which might have to be confirmed by an X-ray.
Your naturopath may recommend large doses of Vitamin A and C, you should always consult your doctor first though.
When to seek further professional advice
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that are listed above.
Your doctor should be consulted for your initial treatment and then an alternative treatment can be used to relieve the symptoms that are caused by this condition.
Your doctor will probably treat the disease which has caused pleurisy or pleural effusion first. However, in some cases of pleural effusion, excess fluid has to be drained. He will then prescribe antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs as well as a diuretic to help drain the fluid in the case of an effusion.
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