What are the symptoms of pleurisy?

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining surrounding the lungs and may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of pleurisy

Pleurisy may include any number of common symptoms, which may become severe at any time. Examples include:

  • Bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Cough
  • Fever and chills
  • Painful breathing (inhaling AND exhaling)
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea) or shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, pleurisy can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure, palpitations
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, wheezing, not breathing, or choking


What is pleurisy?

Pleurisy is a respiratory disease characterized by inflammation of the outer lining of the lungs. This inflammation, along with fluid buildup, creates friction (commonly referred to as a pleural rub, when heard using a stethoscope) during breathing, resulting in sharp chest pain, usually on inspiration.

Certain lung disorders, such as pneumonia, asbestosis and tuberculosis, are co... Read more about pleurisyintroduction


What causes pleurisy?

Pleurisy develops as the result of irritation and inflammation of the lining surrounding the lungs, causing friction and pain during breathing. Certain lung diseases or conditions, such as pneumonia, asbestosis and tuberculosis, are common causes of pleurisy. Chest trauma and some types of lung cancers can also cause pleurisy.

Causes of pleurisy

A number of different co... Read more about pleurisycauses


How is pleurisy treated?

Treatment for pleurisy begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. The goal of treatment for pleurisy is to decrease shortness of breath, remove fluid from the pleural space, and resolve infection if present. Treatment depends on the severity of the pleurisy and the cause. Pain medications c... Read more about pleurisytreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Lungs, Breathing and Respiration

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