Your doctor treats pleurisy by dealing with its cause. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. If another underlying cause is identified, that will be treated as well.
Painkillers may be prescribed for the chest pain, and if you have excess fluid on your lung, your doctor may remove some of this by drawing it out with a fine needle.
How can I help myself?
- If you have been prescribed antibiotics, make sure you complete the entire course. Talk to your doctor if you feel the medicine isn’t helping.
- If you are coughing up sputum, it may help to drink several glasses of water during the day to thin out the sputum, if you haven’t been advised otherwise.
- The pain can make you breathe more shallowly than usual so remember to take 10 deep breaths every hour, even if it hurts a bit.
- Use a humidifier to help keep the air moist.
- Rest in bed until you have recovered.
- Give up smoking, if you smoke.
If your chest pain becomes worse, you have a continuing high temperature, or you start coughing up yellow, green or bloody sputum, see a doctor immediately.
Last Reviewed: 11 March 2009