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Pleurisy
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Pleurisy - pleuritis

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ASTHMA & RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Respiratory System

Pleurisy occurs when the double membrane (pleura) that lines the chest cavity and surrounds each of your lungs becomes inflamed. The condition, also called pleuritis, typically causes sharp pain, almost always during the act of breathing.

One layer of the pleura, which is just a few cells thick, overlies each lung. The other layer lines the inner chest wall. When you breathe in, the large muscle separating the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity (diaphragm) contracts and your chest wall expands, causing your lungs to expand. The two layers of pleura are like two pieces of smooth satin rubbing against each other with almost no friction, allowing your lungs to expand and contract without any resistance from the lining of the chest wall.

When inflamed, the two layers of the membrane in the affected side of your chest rub against each other, producing pain when you inhale and exhale. Between breaths, you feel almost no pain. At times, pleurisy causes an accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity (pleural effusion).

Pleurisy occurs as a complication of a wide variety of underlying conditions. Relieving pleurisy involves treating the underlying condition, if it's known, and taking pain relievers.

 

 

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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