Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Lung diseases

About Pleurisy

05/06/2010

Question:

I have mild Ashma. For that I started taking ventolin. I also have dry pleurisy. If I take ventolin, I get mild chest pain which goes away. Is this normal for the first time user of ventolin? or will ventolin make the pleurisy worse? I was just wondering, as pleurisy reduces Oxygen level, can it be balanced out by taking Oxygen producing pill such as methylene blue? Is it true that there are no treatment for dry pleurisy?

Answer:

Asthma and pleurisy are not commonly related conditions, although the two may happen at the same time in some situations (such as with viral respiratory infections or pneumonia). With asthma, chest tightness often occurs as the result of narrowing of the airways (bronchoconstriction) and one would expect these symptoms to be relieved by the use of a bronchodilator such as Ventolin. It would be unusual for the Ventolin to be causing the chest pain you are describing unless you are allergic to one of the components of the inhaler (also very unusual).

Pleurisy, or pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleurae (thin, moist membranes that cover the lungs and line the chest cavity). The pleurae normally reduce the friction between the chest structures as the lungs expand and contract. Inflammation of the pleurae causes breathing to become painful and less effective.

There are two types of pleurisy: dry and wet pleurisy. In dry pleurisy, the more common condition, the inflamed pleurae rub directly against each other. In wet pleurisy, fluid oozes from the inflamed tissue into the space between the lungs and the chest wall. This fluid may compress the lungs, making breathing difficult. In dry pleurisy, oxygen levels are not usually affected.

The treatment of pleurisy (dry or wet) depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, dry pleurisy is caused by inflammation, and the best therapy is an anti-inflammatory medicine with careful attention to other possible contributing factors. Methylene blue acts as a cofactor to accelerate the conversion of methemoglobin to hemoglobin in red blood cells. It does not directly produce oxygen, and is not intended for routine clinical use.

For more information:

Go to the Lung diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University