What causes water in the chest (Pleural Effusion) and what are its treatments?

Post by DoctoriDuniya

Fluid in the chest, which is medically termed as pleural effusion is one of the commonest lung problems across worldwide. According to a study done by American Thoracic Society, more than 235 million people are diagnosed with some form of lungs problem. And unfortunately the number of patients with lung problems is increasing over time. Among some potential and life threatening lungs problems, pleural effusion is also one of them. It affects more than 10 lakh Indian every year and causes uncomfortable situation for them. 
Pleural effusion is a condition which occurs when the excessive fluid builds up in the space between your lungs and chest cavity. Normally only a teaspoon of fluid is required within the chest cavity, helping the lungs to expand smoothly. A pleural effusion is an excessive and unusual amount of fluid in your chest cavity. 
What causes Pleural effusion?
There are various medical conditions that cause pleural effusion. It might be due to some heart problems, pneumonia, certain medication, toxin exposure, liver problem, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, fungal infections, some form of cancer, leukemia, lung injury, tumors, and many more. 
An array of conditions can lead to pleural effusion. These conditions are-
1. Leakage from other organs- Leakage of fluids from other organs is one of the factors that cause pleural effusion. 
2. Cancer- Though most common cancer that causes the problem is lung cancer, but other form of cancer such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, blood cancer may also contribute to the problem.
3. Lungs Infections- Some most common bacterial infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis also increases the risk of pleural effusion. 
4. Autoimmune conditions- Some autoimmune conditions such as arthritis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause pleural effusion.
What are the symptoms of pleural effusion?
Its symptoms depend on the severity of the problem. In some cases people do not experience any symptoms at all until it becomes serious. Some of its noticeable symptoms are-
1. Chest Pain
2. Dry Cough
3. Fever
4. Shortness of breath
5. Difficult breathing when lying
6. Persistent coughs.
7. Inflammation
How to diagnose pleural effusion?
Physical examination through stethoscope will help you diagnose your problem. Your doctor may also prescribe chest X-ray to confirm your problem. These test include-
1. CT scan
2. Chest ultrasound
3. Pleural fluid analysis
What is its treatment?
Its treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Your doctor may perform a thoracoscopy with the help of fiber optic camera to see inside the chest cavity. He may also perform thoracentesis, a procedure of suctioning fluid into a syringe to determine the cause. 
1. Draining fluid
2. Pleurodesis
3. Surgery
Consult with  best Pulmonologist through
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