Medical Q&As

Pleurisy - lasts how long?

I was diagnosed with pneumonia and pleurisy last Monday week. I was given antibiotics. How long will it take for me to get better? How long shall I have pain in my lung? I am asthmatic and in my mid 30s. I do not smoke.

Pleurisy means inflammation of the pleura, which is the thin delicate membrane that envelops the lungs. It commonly occurs in association with pneumonia. Pleurisy causes a sharp pain that coincides with breathing. As the lung inflates during the act of inspiration the pleura is stretched and this causes the pain. The pain associated with pleurisy usually subsides as the underlying infection resolves. Since your illness began last Monday week the antibiotics should have eliminated the bacteria from your lungs and the resolution of inflammation should be well underway by now. I would anticipate that any remaining symptoms should resolve over the coming week or so. I would also assume that you would be returning to see your GP in order to establish that the signs of infection in your lung have completely resolved.