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Pleurisy

Pleurisy is when the thin lining between your lungs and ribs becomes inflamed.

The main symptom of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain when you breathe.

Pleurisy is usually treated with painkillers until it gets better. You may need additional treatment depending on the cause.

Pleurisy is usually caused by a virus, such as the flu virus.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain when you breathe.

Symptoms of pleurisy

The most common symptom of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain when you breathe. You sometimes also feel pain in your shoulder.

The pain may be worse when you cough, sneeze or move around. It may be relieved by taking shallow breaths.

Other symptoms include shortness of breath and a dry cough.

Read more on the NHS website.

Pleurisy is usually treated with painkillers until it gets better. You may need additional treatment depending on the cause.

Medical treatments

Treatment for pleurisy usually involves relieving the pain and, in some cases, treating the underlying cause.

If treated promptly, pleurisy often gets better without causing any lasting lung damage.

Treating chest pain

Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, often eases the pain.

If NSAIDs are unsuitable for you or do not work, your doctor may prescribe another painkiller.

Try different positions when resting to see which one is most comfortable for you. It may seem strange, but often lying on the side of your chest that hurts helps reduce the pain.

Treating the underlying cause

If your pleurisy is caused by a viral infection, it'll usually get better on its own after a few days.

If it's caused by a bacterial infection, you'll need antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this may be either tablets or injections.

If your symptoms are particularly severe or you're already in poor health, you may need to be admitted to hospital.

Read more on the NHS website.

Pleurisy is usually caused by a virus, such as the flu virus.

Read more on the NHS website.