Pleural Effusion - Signs and Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of pleural effusion?

Common symptoms associated with pleural effusion may include the following:

  • chest pain,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • painful breathing (pleurisy), and
  • cough (either a dry cough or a productive cough).

Deep breathing typically increases the pain. Symptoms of fever, chills, and loss of appetite often accompany pleural effusions caused by infectious agents.

Return to Pleural Effusion

See what others are saying

Comment from: miss g, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

In 2010, I was diagnosed with this thing pleural effusion. Ever since that day, I hated the fact that I had to find out that I have this. Before I found out about this, I had pain in my back all the time. I was short of breath all the time, and it felt like there were needles inside of me. When they diagnosed me with this, I was told that it had caused tuberculosis. I am fine now. It has passed, but this thing of the pleural effusion is still here. I get sick a lot, especially when it is cold. I visit the hospital regularly, not that it is out of free will. Whenever the seasons change, I feel like dying because then the pain is at its worse. I feel like there is just too much pressure on my chest, but the doctors said it is because of the amount of fluid that is surrounding my lungs. Sometimes I just feel so depressed and scared because I do not know what the future holds for me.

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Comment from: faye61, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 25

My dad had some fluid drained from his right lung after he had pneumonia, 2 years later he had an aorta aneurysm, ever since, we have been doing the pleural effusion. Watching him go down daily breaks my heart. We are draining the fluid from the left lung now. He has not been the same since his surgery.

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