What is Pleural effusion?
Pleural effusion is also known as “water on the lungs”. It is the medical condition in which there is collection of fluid around the lungs.
Pleura is a thin membrane that lines the surface of the lung and the inside of chest cavity. Normally, there is a small amount of fluid present between the pleura to facilitate movements of lung while breathing. In the case of pleural effusion unusual amount of fluid fills up in between the pleura.
Most of the time pleural effusion is just the symptom of any underlying medical condition. So, choice of treatment depends upon the diagnosis of the underlying disease, along with draining out the fluid from the cavity or letting it get absorbed.
Pleural effusion is a potentially fatal medical condition. Most of the times the underlying cause for this medical condition are also serious conditions, like heart failure, pneumonia, etc.
Homeopathy can be very effective in helping to manage the symptoms like cough, shortness of breadth, chest pain, etc. Dr. Ashok Choudhary is a homeopathy specialist doctor for treating and managing the cases of pleural effusion. Medicines are prescribed on the holistic concept, that work naturally to reduce and treat the symptoms of the disease.
Types of pleural effusion
Pleural effusion can be classified in two categories depending upon how the fluids are produced in the pleura.
- Transudative pleural effusion- This type is caused due to low blood protein count or increased blood pressure in the blood vessels. This type of effusion is common in congestive heart failure.
- Exudative pleural effusion- This type happens when there is blockage in the blood vessels, inflammation, tumours or lung injury. This is common in medical conditions like pulmonary embolism, pneumonia or fungal infections.
The abnormal fluid collection can happen in the pleura when it is either infected, inflamed or irritated.
The underlying causes that may result into transudative pleural effusion are-
- Congestive heart failure, which is the most common cause.
- Cirrhosis of liver
- Pulmonary embolism, caused by blood clot or blockage in the lung arteries.
- As a complication from open heart surgery
Conditions that may result into exudative pleural effusion are-
- Complications of kidney disorders
- Lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women
- Inflammatory disease
Other less common causes include
- Certain autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Bleeding due to trauma
- Chylothorax, again due to trauma
- Meig’s syndrome
- Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome
Sign and symptoms
Sometimes pleural effusion give no symptoms and is an accidental finding in lung X-Ray, performed for any other reason. However, pleural effusion may present with sign and symptoms like-
- Difficulty in breathing, especially while lying down
- Shortness of breadth
- Difficulty in deep breathing
- Dry, non productive cough
- Chest pain
- Persistent hiccups
- Difficulty in carrying out any strenuous activities
The potential complications of pleural effusion include-
- Pneumothorax, i.e collapse of the lung as complication of thoracentesis( a phenomenon to suck fluid from the pleural cavity)
- Lung scarring
- Empyema, i.e collection of pus in the pleural cavity
- Sepsis, that may prove fatal
Doctor will carefully examine the chest with the help of stethoscope, to listen the sounds inside the lung. Doctor may suggest tests like X-rays, CT scan, chest ultrasound, pleural fluid analysis, bronchoscope, pleural biopsy to investigate the underlying condition and confirm the diagnosis.
For pleural fluid analysis and drainage of excess fluid from the chest cavity, doctor may perform thoracentesis. This is the procedure in which fluid is sucked outside the chest cavity with the help of syringe and sent for examination. This procedure is also used for draining out the excess fluid from the pleural cavity.
Excessive fluid in the pleural cavity may require thoracentesis for draining. The treatment of pleural effusion will depend upon the underlying cause, which is responsible for excess fluid. If the underlying disease is of serious nature then homeopathy medicines can be taken along with conventional methods to naturally manage the disease condition.
Homeopathy can efficiently control the symptoms of shortness of breadth, cough, chest pain, inflammation, etc in the pleura. Dr Ashok Choudhary is a homeopathy specialist doctor for treating and managing the symptoms of pleural effusion.