Causes of Pleural Effusion

If you are an athlete, it is important that you keep your body physically fit. If you are not very careful, you may suffer from serious health problems which may cause you to be disqualified from the race or to drop out of the race.

One of the health problems that may affect any athlete is pleural effusion which is characterized by fluid buildup in the lungs. If you have pleural effusion, it can be difficult for you to breathe. This condition will make it more challenging for you to train or run in an actual race because it may cause you to lose your breath even when running short distances.

There are different underlying conditions that may cause pleural effusion. Symptoms and their treatments may vary depending on the underlying condition:

  • Allergies – Some forms of allergies result in mucus production which in turn increases the level of fluids in the lungs. Allergies can be treated by taking commercial or natural antihistamine to alleviate symptoms.
  • Bronchitis – Bronchitis is perhaps the most common cause of fluids inside the lungs. Bronchitis may develop after a person suffers from a cold or flu as a result of secondary bacterial infection. But it may also develop if a person smokes.
  • Near drowning experience – Drowning can bring fluid to the lungs. And even if the fluid has been completely drained, a person may still suffer from dry drowning which could be fatal to a patient if not monitored.
  • Cardiovascular diseases – Some cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, myocardial infarction and cardiomyopathy may also lead to the development of fluids inside the lungs.
  • Pneumonia – “Lung water” due to pneumonia is also a common condition. Water buildup may result from the inflammation in the lung tissue.
  • Other health conditions – There are other health conditions that may also cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs. These include hypoalbuminemia which occurs when a person has kidney failure, liver problems or nutritional deficiency. Autoimmune diseases such as sarcoidosis which causes inflammation in the lung tissues may also lead to buildup of fluid in the lungs.
  • Non-health related causes – Aside from health conditions, other factors that may lead to lung fluid include smoke inhalation, side effects of certain drugs, inhalation, ingestion or injection of poison or toxins, and oxygen shortage due to suffocation or high altitudes.

Having fluid in the lungs is a serious condition among athletes and non-athletes. It is even more serious if the underlying cause is also a serious health condition like kidney or lung problem. Although having pleural effusion may be hard to diagnose at first, it is helpful to know some of its common symptoms. These are chest pain, painful breathing, difficulty in breathing, and dry or productive cough. More often, deep breathing increases the pain. Other symptoms include loss of appetite chills and fever. If you experience these symptoms and are currently experiencing any of the common underlying symptoms of pleural effusion, be sure to see your doctor immediately so that your condition may be properly diagnosed and treated.

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