How to Treat Pleurisy?

  • December 01, 2023
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How to Treat Pleurisy?

What is Pleurisy?

Pleurisy, or pleuritis, is a medical condition marked by inflammation of the pleura, the double-layered membrane that envelops the lungs. The pleura comprises two layers: the visceral pleura, covering the lungs, and the parietal pleura, lining the chest cavity. Under normal circumstances, these layers glide seamlessly, facilitating smooth lung expansion and contraction during breathing. However, when inflammation occurs, it can give rise to pleurisy. This condition, also referred to as pleuritis, manifests when the thin lining around the lungs or the inner lining of the chest wall becomes inflamed, leading to swelling.

This inflammation causes the two pleural layers to rub against each other, inducing sharp pains. The lungs and inner chest wall are coated with the delicate pleura, and the pleural space between them, filled with fluid, enables effortless movement, analogous to oil in a machine. Yet, when inflammation occurs, the once smooth interaction is disrupted, and the layers instead painfully rub against each other.

Why Does Pleurisy Occur?

Pleurisy can be caused by various underlying conditions, with viral infections being a common culprit. Infections like the flu, pneumonia, and viral bronchitis can lead to pleurisy as the pathogens trigger an inflammatory response in the pleura. Additionally, autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, may contribute to the development of pleurisy. Other potential causes include pulmonary embolism, chest trauma, and certain medications.