Pleural effusion occurs when fluid gets between the two layers of tissue that cover the lungs. The fluid buildup is typically caused by an illness such as pneumonia, or a cold. Once the underlying cause is treated, the fluid leaves the lungs and the symptoms subside.
While not all causes of the condition are serious, a pleural effusion can be a sign of congestive heart failure and pulmonary embolism. The symptoms of the condition often mimic those of other illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma. People with other lung problems may have more severe symptoms and may stay sick longer.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor for a diagnosis. Once the underlying cause is found, treatment can begin. Symptoms usually start to get better within a week of treatment. If the underlying cause is serious, some symptoms may last longer, even with proper treatment.
1.Shortness of Breath
When there is pleural effusion, the lungs can’t work how they should. They cannot expand properly, and it becomes hard to breathe. The lungs need to be able to expand in order for a person to get a complete breath. When the fluid that lubricates the lungs fills up, it prevents the lungs from expanding all the way. As a result, it’s hard to get a complete breath. Moving around and changing positions while sleeping may help improve breathing, but the problem may continue as long as the pleural effusion is present.
People who have other breathing problems such as asthma may have more severe shortness of breath. This symptom can also be more dangerous for people with breathing problems, lung problems, or congestive heart failure. If breathing becomes too difficult, seek medical attention. A doctor may be able to drain the fluid around the lungs so you can breathe more easily.