The pleural cavity is the cavity that surrounds human lungs. It is made up of two membranes that are separated by fluid called pleurae. These membranes cover the entire lung area,separated into two parts: right and left. The purpose of this cavity is to protect the lungs while also cushioning them. While this membrane is extremely thin, it is a vital part of the lung area.
Pleurae exists in order to allow the two membranes to slide against each other without friction. The surface of these membranes consist of an area made up of shiny flat cells called the mesothelium. Only with the help of the pleurae can the pleural cavity function properly. When this fluid becomes infected or compromised, the results are often serious. In fact, this type of infection must be treated right away in order to avoid further complications.
This portion of the lung area is extremely sensitive to pain and to bacteria. Frequently, the pleural cavity becomes infected with bacteria, which may cause inflammation. When a large amount of bacterial fluids collect between the pleural membranes, the result can be a serious infection known as pleurisy. Dry pleurisy occurs when no fluid is formed, but the area is still infected. Pain is often caused when the two membranes that make up the pleural cavity rub together. This can be caused by a number of conditions, including pneumonia, lung infections, and even kidney problems.
Detecting any kind of cavity infection can only be done by the trained eyes of a medical doctor. While people that have cavity infections will often complain of chest pain, there is no way to detect an infection without medical attention. Therefore, people who have chest pains should always seek medical attention right away. In some cases, a lung cavity infection can be an indication of a heart problem, which makes any pain in this area even more important. In addition to the infections and diseases listed above, cancer of the pleura is also possible.
Scientists are continuously studying ways to cure various infections and cancers that may affect this area. Since the area itself is extremely sensitive, a lot of infection cures come with a good amount of risk attached to them. However, new techniques are being developed every day in order to make treating this area easier. While most people never think about the membranes that surround their lungs, it would be much harder to breathe if the pleura didn't exist.