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Is This Really Pleurisy?
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Is This Really Pleurisy?

Two days ago, I started having some pain in my ribs. The pain was sharp, and breathing didn't make it worse. It didn't last more than a couple of minutes at a time. I've also been getting a strange rattling sensation in my chest when I breathe. It doesn't happen every time, though. Last night, I went to the ER because I was having some trouble breathing.
A while after I was admitted, the doctor came in and listened to my lungs and heart. He said they sounded perfect. I told him about my symptoms and was diagnosed with pleurisy. He prescribed me an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medicine, and I got released.
From what I've read in books and on the Internet, people usually get pleurisy after they've had pneumonia or some other respiratory infection, certain cancers, blood clots, etc. I haven't had any of those things wrong with me.
I haven't been having any chest pain at all today. I'm still a little bit short of breath, but that might be because of my anxiety disorder. As for the chest rattling, it's gone too. What's weird is, it went away after I ate.
So here are my questions:
1. Is it possible to have pleurisy without any chest pain at all?
2. Can somebody get pleurisy from having allergies? (Hay fever, specifically)

I'm trying to decide whether I should get the medicine or go to my regular doctor and get a second opinion.
Tags: misdiagnosed?, rib pain, chest rattle, bleh, Pleurisy
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi and welcome to the community.

Pleurisy is inflamation (inflammation) of the pleura (mucosal lining surounding the lungs and lung cavity.  What happens is that the two layers of lining rub together and irritate each other.  After a while it does become very painful to breathe as when the layers rub together and then are pulled apart it is sort of like pulling Velcro strips apart.  That is what my doctor told me they listen for when diagnosing pleurisy, something that sounds like Velcro strips being pulled apart.  From experience, it also feels that way.  For me it always starts in the lower right rib cage, not chest pain at all.  It can then spread around to my entire back if I don't get the cough stopped.

This can happen with any condition that causes a lot of coughing even allergies, cold or bronchitis along with the more serious conditions you mentioned.  

Personally, your symptoms do not indiacte pleurisy to me.  Rattly breathing and trouble breathing do indicate that there is probably an infection there.  You may want to follow up with your doctor, but it sounds like the antibiotic is inorder.  You may also want to ask your doctor if it is possible that you have asthma.  The infection can cause all your symptoms, but asthma may also be contributing to them.  

Take care and
God bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
Something I forgot to mention before is that I haven't been coughing at all. Not even my allergies make me cough.
Today, I'm having a little bit of pain in my lower left ribcage, but it comes and goes randomly and it isn't worse when I breathe. The pain goes in a straight line down to my abdomen. I'm wondering if I could have a pinched nerve somewhere in there. I had one in my lower back and leg a few months ago, and it felt the same way.
I'm not having any trouble breathing now, and the chest rattle I was having is gone. I'll go ahead and take the medicines and see if they help.
Next time I go to the doctor (or my allergist), I'll ask about asthma. I just had a breathing test done to check for asthma not too long ago, and it was normal. Maybe I could ask to get another test done.

Thanks for your help! :)
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The pain could be due to pleurisy. But if with movement you are getting pain it is likely to be an inflammation of the skin, subcutaneous tissue or the bone. This can happen with injury, repetitive activity or an infection of the skin. Sometimes it can be costo-chondritis, inflammation of the sterna rib junction. If the pain is aggravated with work or exercise then it could be due to cardiac pain. If the pain is worsening with medications re consult your doctor.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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