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Pleurisy is a disease or disorder relevant to the pleura of the lungs. It is in fact the inflammatory condition related to the pleural layers of the lungs. Pleura are a double layered membrane that covers the lungs and offer protection to the same. Additionally, pleura also act as coating for the rib cage. In simple words, pleura play an important role in offering protection to the most important parts or organs of the respiratory system. Under normal condition, the two layers of the pleura are separated slightly by a thin layer of fluid. It helps these layers to slide during breathing process. When there is inflammation in the pleura, then the two layers rub against each other and make the breathing quite painful.

In some cases, this condition may also be characterized by filling of excess of pleural fluid amid the two layers of the pleura. This in turn exerts greater pressure on the lungs and hence results in shortness of the breath. This condition is referred to as pleural effusion as per medical science.  In some cases, infection is also noticeable in the pleural fluid. Pleurisy is also called as pleuritis as per medical science.

What is the reason behind occurrence of pleurisy?
In most of the cases, viral infection is the chief reason for occurrence of pleurisy. Additionally, it may also be triggered due to certain other factors. These may include injuries to the chest that may be caused due to any reasons. It may result in filling of the pleural layers with excess of fluid and hence result in difficulty in breathing. Certain types of infections related to the lungs such as tuberculosis and pneumonia may also be one of the chief reasons for occurrence of pleurisy. Uses of certain drugs or medicines that may result in reactions are also responsible for causing pleurisy.

Apart from this, people suffering from some other diseases such as liver diseases, SLE or systematic lupus erythematosus, cancer, pulmonary embolism and rheumatoid arthritis are also prone to suffer from pleurisy. People suffering from certain kidney diseases or who have undergone heart failure may also suffer from this condition.

Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins such as ammonia also results in this condition. Any type of blockage or obstruction caused in the lymph channels that may be caused due to centrally located lung tumours may also give rise to pleurisy. Various types of abdominal processes such as gall bladder diseases, damage to the spleen, pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver etc. are also known to trigger this condition in large numbers of people.

Chief signs and symptoms that indicate occurrence of pleurisy in the body
The condition of pleurisy is chiefly characterized by pain in the chest that becomes worse during breathing. The patient may also complain of shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing and a piercing sensation in the chest. It is because inflammation of the pleural layers results in rubbing of these two against each other when a person breathes. This in turn leads to severe pain. On the other hand, filling of excess of fluid as in case of pleural effusion results in exertion of excessive pressure on the lungs which in turn results in shortness of breath.

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