Pleurisy - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of pleurisy?

Symptoms of pleurisy include:

  • pain in the chest that is aggravated by breathing,
  • shortness of breath, and/or
  • a "stabbing" sensation.

The most common symptom of pleurisy is pain that is generally aggravated by inspiration (breathing in). Although the lungs themselves do not contain any pain nerves, the pleura contains abundant nerve endings. When extra fluid accumulates in the space between the layers of pleura, the pain usually is a less severe form of pleurisy. With very large amounts of fluid accumulation, the expansion of the lungs can be limited, and shortness of breath can worsen.

Return to Pleurisy (Pleuritis)

See what others are saying

Comment from: kathleen, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

I was told I had pleurisy, it's very painful. I have pain in the right ribs from back to front for 2 weeks, now I'm on pain medications. And I've worked the whole time so I think this has made it worse because now it's a stinging sharp pain in the ribs when I move. I had CAT scan and x-ray done. I am just hoping it gets better.

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Comment from: ann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I had pain on inspiration and a rattling in my lung one could palpate with your hand. I had pain on inspiration, shortness of breath, cough, and hiccoughs, the latter especially when tired. Initially 400 ml was drained but since then it has been stable with small effusion. I have a recent recurrence of supposed pleurisy pain, and shortness of breath with exertion most noticeable. I have occasional cough.

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