Causes of Pleura Pleurisy Pleuritis, Pleural Effusion, Pneumothorax, Hemothorax Breathing Pain Symptoms

Your pleura is a dual layered tissue sheet. This membrane wraps around your lungs and chest cavity.

Normally, a small amount of fluid is contained between your pleural layers. This fluid allows for smooth gliding during breathing’s inhales and exhales.

Many different health issues can cause “between the sheets” pleural breathing pain problems. Health concerns involving your pleura are pleurisy, pleural effusion, pneumothorax and hemothorax.

Pleurisy, aka pleuritis, is inflammation of your pleura. Whenever red and inflamed pleura rub against each during an inhaled expansion of your lungs, it causes sharp breathing pain.

Numerous conditions can be your cause for painful breathing pleuritis, like:

The main cause for pleuritis is a viral infection.

The primary symptom of pleurisy is a sharp, stabbing inhaled breathing pain in your chest. This painful breathing may spread to your shoulder or back. And in some cases, pleurisy can cause an ongoing dull chest ache.

Depending on what causes the pleurisy pleuritis, you may experience some of these symptoms as well:

Pleural effusion is an excess of fluid in your pleural space. Too much fluid can push your pleura against your lungs to the point of causing collapse. As you might guess, this state of capacity can make breathing very difficult.

Maladies that lead to pleural effusion involve:

The most common cause of pleural effusion is congestive heart failure.

Pleural effusion causing symptoms involve:

Pleural effusion is often symptomless.

Pneumothorax is a leakage of air or gas into your pleural space. This causes pressure against your lungs that can cause it to partially or entirely give way. A partial collapse is most frequent.

If pneumothorax continues to build, then its increasing pressure can compress both your lung and heart. This is a very serious situation requiring emergency health care.

Pneumothorax can be the result of:

  • COPD
  • asthma
  • pneumonia
  • lung cancer
  • tuberculosis
  • emphysema
  • cystic fibrosis
  • whooping cough
  • air bag deployment
  • mechanical ventilation
  • lung’s surface air blister break
  • lung procedures ~ surgery, needle fluid drainage
  • acute lung injury ~ broken rib, stab & gunshot wound

Should only a small amount of air enter your pleural space, then you’ll likely have light chest pain symptoms of pneumothorax. If you experience an over 25% lung collapse, you’ll likely experience:

If your air or gas entry is insignificant, pneumothorax may go away on its own.

Hemothorax is the collection of blood in your pleural space. Hemothorax can put pressure on and force your lung to collapse. Shock is a possibility to boot.

Common causes for hemothorax are:

  • lung cancer
  • heart surgery
  • pleural cancer
  • blunt force chest trauma

Hemothorax can also be a complication of tuberculosis.

The painful breathing symptoms of hemothorax are ofttimes:

Treatment for all these pleura related ailments focuses on removing fluid, air or blood from your pleural space, relieve symptoms and treat any underlying health afflictions.

Pleural problems can be very serious. However, with early diagnosis and treatment you can look ahead to a healthy recovery.

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