Pleuritis is the irritation of what is called the pleura. The pleura are membranes that cover the lungs and position the cavity of the chest. When the pleura get irritated, breathing may lose its effectiveness and becomes agonizing. This disorder normally results in the complication of additional medical conditions. These conditions include numerous pathological and bacteriological infections. Conditions that may cause pleuritis include influenza and also include other virus-related infections that may occur suddenly. The development of pneumonia which has an impact on the surface of the pleura may cause pleuritis also. Tuberculosis along with autoimmune disorders normally triggers the development of pleuritis. In other cases it is caused by a blockage in an artery of the lung.
Types of pleuritis
The pleura that covers the lungs has two (2) tight-fitting coatings and between these coating one will find loosening liquid. In cases where the disease causes the liquid to remain untouched, it is called Dry Pleuritis. In cases where the liquid peculiarly increase it is called Wet Pleuritis or pleura with effusion. If the additional liquid from wet pleura gets contaminated with bacteria and forms pus, it is called Purulent Pleuritis. Currently, there are only two categories of Pleuritis, dry and wet. Dry Pleuritis is most common and usually involves the irritation of the pleura caused by the direct rubbing against each other. Wet Pleuritis is caused by liquid secretion of an irritated tissue, in the middle of the lungs and the wall of the chest. The liquid usually compress the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. Pleuritis often develops in persons who are at high risk to infections. A few cases of Pleuritis results from gastrointestinal tract infections, specifically those concerned with the liver or the pancreas.
Common symptoms of Pleuritis
Pleuritis usually causes patients to experience excruciating pain in their chest when they breathe. Patients also experience discomfort when they cough, which is usually a symptom of Pleuritis. Other symptoms include the shortness of one’s breath and the increase or decrease of one’s body temperature. If liquid builds up inside the cavity of the chest, it may lead to the patient’s skin becoming blue in color.
Diagnosis of Pleuritis
If a patient is suspected to have pleuritis, a doctor will need to start the diagnosis process by examining the patient’s breathing rate. This can be done by using a stethoscope. For confirmation of pleuritis, further tests may need to be done. A blood test may be done to check the level of pleuritis that is present in the blood.
Treatment of Pleuritis
Pleuritis treatment may vary from patient to patient, and is usually dependent on the cause of its development. If the infection is caused by bacteria, the prescription may be antibiotics. If the infection is virus-related it will not be treatable with antibiotics. Other medications may be prescribed to help reduce the symptoms.