Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Lingering case of Pleurisy?
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Lingering case of Pleurisy?

I had a very bad chest infection about 5 weeks ago that was treated with about 4 different types of antibiotic until it finally subsided.

During the treatment for this chest infection I experienced sharp knife-like pains on my left side, which I now know is Pleurisy.  

My question is, how long should I expect this pain to last?  I am no longer on antibiotics and have basically been told by my doctor to take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen.  I'm not wholly satisfied with this conclusion and, after just taking a whole week off work to rest, now I am up and about again the pain is returning and my chest feels tight.

I have had a chest x-ray and am awaiting the results but I have a feeling they will return clear and I will still be none the wiser as to how long I must suffer!

Hope you can help.
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Pleurisy is inflammation or irritation of the pleura, the sac that holds the lungs.  This can cause chest tightness and pain, which is felt more with deep breathing and coughing.  This can be caused by anything that reaches the covering of the lungs that should not be there, such as bacteria or viruses.  Antibiotics will help a bacterial infection, but will not help a viral infection.  Over time your body's natural defenses will clear a viral infection.

Eventually pleurisy will resolve but it may take weeks.  During this time it is important to treat the pain so that you are able to breath as normal as possible so that other problems do not start.  Two things that may help with the pain are:
1) an anti-inflammatory pill, like ibuprofen; and
2) heat, especially moist heat, like a bath or shower.
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