Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Pleurisy
Pleurisy is swelling (inflammation) of the thin layers of
tissue (pleura) covering the lungs and the chest wall. In young, healthy
people, a viral infection of the lower respiratory system or pneumonia may
cause the inflammation and pleurisy.
Other causes of pleurisy
include air leaking into the pleural cavity from a hole in a
lung (pneumothorax), injury to the chest (such as a broken rib),
tuberculosis or other infections, or a tumor in the pleura. Pleurisy caused by
a virus usually lasts a few days to 2 weeks.
Common symptoms of
Over-the-counter pain relievers, including acetaminophen
(such as Tylenol) and ibuprofen (such as Motrin and Advil), may help relieve
the pain caused by pleurisy and may reduce fever. Treatment of pleurisy depends
on the cause.
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.