Pleurisy: What Is It and How Do You Treat it?

Pleurisy refers to inflammation of the thin membrane covering the lungs called the pleura. This condition is often caused by infection or injury and may cause coughing and chest pain. It can cause chills and fever in some instances. It affects approximately 2 million Americans each year. Seniors, smokers and those with weak immune systems are most at risk.

Pleurisy: What Causes it?

Most common causes are viral and bacterial infections like pneumonia, flu, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. There are also autoimmune conditions like Lupus and rheumatoidarthritis, as well as Trauma , such as rib fractures, as well as Certain Medications . The risk factors for pleurisy include smoking, which can cause irritation to the pleura.

Common Treatment s for Pleurisy

The underlying reason for pleurisy will determine the treatment. Antibiotics might be recommended if the cause of pleurisy is infection. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids can be used in some instances to decrease inflammation. If the pleura has been damaged or fluid buildup in the pleural cavity, surgery may be required. If difficulty breathing is a problem, oxygen therapy might be an option.

Views of Experts on Pleurisy

Pleurisy can be managed by prompt treatment, according to experts. Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital: "If your pleurisy has been caused by infection, you need to get it treated immediately." You will be less likely to develop complications like empyema or a lung abscess.

Professor of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Dr. David Spiro adds that "it's important to avoid any activities that can aggravate the condition, like smoking." The risk of developing complications, like a collapsed lung, can be increased by smoking. He recommends that you avoid any activity that involves rapid pressure changes, such as diving. This can make the condition worse.

Pleurisy Prevention Tips and Natural Remedies

There are natural ways to relieve symptoms of pleurisy that can be used in addition to traditional treatments. You can try herbs like ginger and turmeric, which are anti-inflammatory. It can help to rest and avoid strenuous activities, which will also reduce discomfort and pain. You should also practice good hygiene, get vaccinated against Pneumococcal Pneumonia and flu. This can cause pleurisy.

It is essential to stop smoking and to eat healthy meals, get sufficient sleep, as well as exercise frequently. Good hygiene is essential, as well as getting vaccinated for infectious diseases. Pleurisy can be prevented by taking measures to improve your immune system.

Pleurisy, which can lead to chest pain and fever, is an inflammation condition of the pleura. It's usually due to an injury or infection. You need prompt medical attention. There are many options for treatment, including oxygen therapy and antibiotics. However, there may also be natural ways to help. It is essential to stop smoking and to eat healthy meals, be active, and have good hygiene.