Pleural Effusion Specialist

Healing Lungs

Raees Ahmed, MD

Pulmonologist, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Specialist located in Conroe, TX

Symptoms such as a dry cough and shortness of breath may indicate pleural effusion, which is a buildup of fluid around your lungs. At Healing Lungs, pulmonologist Raees Ahmed, MD, performs a comprehensive checkup and diagnostic imaging, and provides the educational information you need to understand your condition. Dr. Ahmed accurately diagnoses pleural effusion so you can see a physician who specializes in treating the problem. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Conroe, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Pleural Effusion Q & A

What is pleural effusion?

Your lungs are covered in a two-layered membrane. One layer surrounds the lungs, and the other layer lines the inner side of your chest wall.

A small amount of fluid is normally found between the two membranes, or pleurae, where it serves as a lubricant. When the fluid significantly increases, the condition is called pleural effusion.

What causes pleural effusion?

There are two primary types of pleural effusion, each from different sources:

Exudative pleural effusion

Exudative effusion develops due to inflammation, infection, lung injury, tumors, or blocked blood or lymph vessels. A few of the possible causes include pneumonia, a pulmonary embolism, and cancer.

Transudative pleural effusion

This type of pleural effusion typically occurs due to a medical condition such as heart or liver failure that forces excess fluid between the membranes.

There are also many other less common causes of pleural effusion. A few examples include autoimmune diseases, certain medications, and radiation therapy. 

You may have a higher risk for pleural effusion if you smoke, you’ve been exposed to asbestos, or you have a history of high blood pressure.

What symptoms develop due to pleural effusion?

Pleural effusion causes symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain when you breathe
  • Dry, nonproductive cough
  • Rapid breathing

You may also experience orthopnea, which means being able to breathe only when you’re sitting up or standing.

How do you diagnose pleural effusion?

As specialists in lung disease, the team at Healing Lungs provides comprehensive diagnostic testing for pleural effusion. After Dr. Ahmed listens to your lungs with a stethoscope, you undergo a chest X-ray.

In most cases, a chest X-ray is enough to determine whether or not you have pleural effusion. If an X-ray is inconclusive, then a CT scan or ultrasound provides the details needed to make an accurate diagnosis.

In addition to a complete checkup and testing, Dr. Ahmed offers educational information, so you have a better understanding of pleural effusion, its potential causes, and possible treatment options. However, they refer you to a trusted specialist who determines and performs the best treatment.

If you need a checkup for pleural effusion and a referral to a specialist, call Healing Lungs or schedule an appointment online.