What is Pleurisy

Pleurisy (or pleuritis) is an infection, viral or bacterial in origin, caused by an inflammation of the pleura— the sac-like membrane surrounding the lungs

The two layers of the inflamed pleura rub together to cause the characteristic creaking noise in the chest that makes diagnosis so easy. A surplus of pleural fluid may also be produced by the inflammation, causing a pleural effusion which can be detected on physical examination.

In a very few cases, pleurisy may be an indication of more serious diseases such as lung cancer or pulmonary embolism, while chronic pleurisy may be a symptom of tuberculosis.

Before the advent of antibiotics, pleurisy was a life-threatening condition and one of the most common causes of death, particularly in children. Today,the condition is usually easily diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

If you do not feel better after a day (taking doses every hour), see your physician.

• stabbing pain, usually at a particular point in inhalation or on coughing
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