If you have been diagnosed with pleurisy, you may wish to ask your physician the following four questions:
1. What medical treatment will I be prescribed for my pleurisy?
The treatment involves any or a combination of the following procedures, depending upon the underlying cause of the pleurisy and the condition of the pleura:
• Extraction of the air or fluid in the pleural cavity using thoracentesis procedure
• Treatment of the viral or bacterial condition that has caused pleurisy – antibiotics, medication to ease breathing and NSAIDS, etc.
• Treatment of the cancer that may have given rise to pleurisy – nuclear medication and chemotherapy
• Treatment of the injury or surgery that may have resulted in pleurisy
• Fibrinolytics may be used to break thick fluid clots to help them drain easily
• Symptomatic treatment such as cough syrups, paracetamol and corticosteroids may also be given
• Alternative therapies are also available to tackle pleurisy
2. What are the prevention tips for pleurisy?
Since a majority of the times pleurisy is caused by some infection, prevention is dependent on preventing yourself from getting those infections. However, early diagnosis helps better treatment and easier management.
3. What is the prognosis for pleurisy patients?
A full and timely recovery is possible if the underlying condition that caused the pleurisy is detected early. Viral infections causing pleurisy can be treated in a week or two’s time and bacterial infections giving rise to pleurisy can take up to six weeks to clear. Other serious conditions may cause pleurisy to stay and the underlying condition may be fatal.
4. Are there any alternative therapies available for managing pleurisy?
Conventional science is still testing the efficacy of alternative treatments though its protagonists swear by them. They can usually be used in conjunction with mainline treatment after consultation with the doctor:
• Acupuncture and botanical medicines are alternative approaches for alleviating pleural pain and breathing problems. A list of herbs that are used to alleviate symptoms of pleurisy are: