Signs, Symptoms, and Complications


The main symptom of pleurisy is a sharp or stabbing pain in your chest that gets worse when you breathe in deeply or cough or sneeze.

The pain may stay in one place or it may spread to your shoulders or back. Sometimes the pain becomes a fairly constant dull ache.

Depending on what's causing the pleurisy, you may have other symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath or rapid, shallow breathing
  • Coughing
  • Fever and chills
  • Unexplained weight loss


The symptoms of pneumothorax include:

  • Sudden, sharp chest pain that gets worse when you breathe in deeply or cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Easy fatigue (tiredness)
  • A rapid heart rate
  • A bluish tint to the skin caused by lack of oxygen

Other symptoms of pneumothorax include flaring of the nostrils; anxiety, stress, and tension; and hypotension (low blood pressure).

Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion often has no symptoms.


The symptoms of hemothorax often are similar to those of pneumothorax. They include: