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Overview

Pulmonary Edema - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Lungs are the organs in the body that takes in oxygen and removes the carbon dioxide from the blood. The blood from the heart is brought to the lungs through the veins and then oxygenated blood is taken back to the heart. The air sacs in the lungs help in the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Pulmonary Edema is when there is water in the tiny air sacs of the lungs resulting in the lack of oxygen supply to the blood and excessive build-up of carbon dioxide. When there is such a condition then the person experiences breathlessness, pink frothy sputum, anxiety, headache and fluid retention.

Circulatory problems develop after a heart attack or when the left ventricle is severely damaged, then blood does not reach the lungs. This causes less oxygenated blood reaching the other parts of the body, this condition is called cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is caused due to malfunction of the heart, hypertension, heart attack in which left ventricular failure happens, excessive fluid in the body or congestive heart failure.

When the lung tissues are injured it can cause pulmonary edema. The third type of edema is high altitude pulmonary edema which develops when a person visits high altitudes.

People experiencing these symptoms should immediately contact a doctor. Doctors will do a series of blood tests, ECG, Chest X-rays to understand the pulmonary edema. Blood tests determine the level of oxygen in the blood, x-rays help to understand whether there is fluid in the lungs, ECG to know whether the person has suffered heart attack.

As there is less oxygen in the blood patients are first given oxygen supply. Breathing tube is placed in the trachea of the patient, some patients are put on ventilator. If there is a circulatory cause for the edema then the patients are given necessary medications to cure this condition. Treatment is essential for pulmonary edema as it is a fatal condition. In some patients the condition can cause coma. Proper treatment is necessary to cure the condition.

People who have conditions that can lead to pulmonary edema should be extra careful. Patients should thoroughly follow the instructions of the doctor to prevent further episodes of edema and keep the situation under control. Proper diet and weight is necessary for preventing development of pulmonary edema.

Anyone who is experiencing even mild symptoms should visit the doctor and get it treated.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Symptoms
Difficulty breathing Coughing up blood Excessive sweating Anxiety Pale skin Pale skin

Popular Health Tips

Pulmonary Edema - Ways It Can be Treated!

Dr. (Brig.) Ashok 88% (96 ratings)
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Pulmonary Edema - Ways It Can be Treated!
Pulmonary edema is a disorder wherein fluid accumulates in the lungs leading to lack of oxygen in the body. The usual cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure (the muscles of the heart are unable to pump blood). In this disorder, the heart has to work extra hard to pump blood, so this adds extra pressure on the blood vessels that are present in the lungs. In a bid to relieve this added pressure, fluid is released into the lungs by the blood vessels. The function of your lungs is to take in oxygen from the air and circulate it in the bloodstream. However, fluid accumulation in the lungs impairs the ability to supply oxygen in the blood. As the oxygen does not reach the blood, the body gets deprived of oxygen. Causes The most frequent cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure. Some other causes of pulmonary edema are pneumonia, failure of the kidney, damage to the lungs, high blood pressure and sepsis of the blood (infection). Apart from these internal medical causes, certain external factors such as exposure to high altitudes, drug overdose and inhalation of toxic substances can also cause pulmonary edema. Symptoms The symptoms of pulmonary edema are coughing, swelling of the legs, breathlessness and wheezing. In case of severe pulmonary edema, symptoms such as respiratory failure, shock and organ damage due to lack of oxygen may occur. Treatment The initial step to treat pulmonary edema is to administer oxygen. Oxygen is given through a nasal cannula; it is a flexible tube made of plastic with two openings that allow oxygen to be delivered to the nostrils. The oxygen levels in your body are closely monitored by the doctor. Based on the cause of pulmonary edema, the following treatments are administered: Morphine: Morphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety. Preload reducers: These medications help relieve the pressure in the lungs and the heart. Diuretics are a type of preload reducers; it is also known to cause excessive urination. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels. Use of blood pressure medication: Pulmonary edema caused by blood pressure changes i.e. if the disorder is caused by changes in your blood pressure, then blood pressure medications are administered to get your pressure back to normal levels.
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Renal hypertension is a disorder, which is characterized by a rise in the blood pressure that results from kidney disease. The blood flow to the kidney is impaired due to the narrowing of the arteries and this leads to renovascular hypertension. Symptoms The various symptoms of renal hypertension are: You may experience symptoms of high blood pressure. Your kidneys may not function properly due to the impaired supply of blood It may lead to presence of blood in your urine You may be affected by pulmonary edema that results in accumulation of fluid in the lungs It may result in severe headaches and confusion You may experience blurred vision You may have nosebleeds The impaired kidney function may also lead to chronic kidney damage. Causes The various causes of renal hypertension are: Accumulation of cholesterol in the body may lead to blockage of the artery due to plaque buildup Smoking may increase your chances of getting affected by narrow arteries The narrowing of the arteries causes a reduction in the blood supply to the kidneys. This results in the kidneys to release various hormones that instruct the body to hold on to water and sodium. This causes the fluid to accumulate in the blood vessels, thus resulting in high blood pressure. The various risk factors renal hypertension are: Excessive alcohol consumption Substance abuse Diabetes High blood pressure High cholesterol Aging Treatment Medications used to treat high blood pressure are used to treat renal hypertension. It is important that you get your blood pressure levels checked on a regular basis. You need to make certain lifestyle changes such as: Exercise on a regular basis to keep your heart and body healthy Limit consumption of alcohol and reduce smoking Eat well balanced meals to keep obesity at bay Keep your mind free of stress Restrict consumption of salt Maintain optimal weight levels
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Popular Questions & Answers

I am suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. Can I eat spicy and oily food? And drink coffee once a day. Will my liver be affected?

Dr. Vaibhavi Patel 90% (24 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Bangalore
You can eat spicy and oily food but in moderation. Its known to cause gastritis which will hamper absorption of TB drugs. Coffee once in a day is OK.
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I Am 25 years female suffering from Pulmonary tuberculosis. I have completed 3 months treatment. I am worried about other diseases. Should I get my whole body checked up? Or there is no need for it?

Dr. Sujit Mondal 90% (37 ratings)
MBBS
Pulmonologist,
Do one LFT and CXR. Nothing more you need as a routine. If you face any prob then only do others accordingly.
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I'm 19 year old man and want to know how can excess estrogen levels in Body effect people of my age.

Dr. Sajeev Kumar 88% (23087 ratings)
C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
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Excess estrogen in men will give feminine traits like lo pitched voice However, progesterone can cause many side effects including stomach upset, changes in appetite, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), fatigue, acne, drowsiness or insomnia, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, depression, breast discomfort or enlargement, premenstrual syndrome (PMS)-like symptoms, ...
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I'm under treatment pulmonary tb full course 6 month recently testicular swelling pain and some time fiver and Right side hand, neck, chest pain. any relation pulmonary tb and testis? please help sir.

Dr. Bhagyesh Patel 96% (5161 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Gandhinagar
Hello dear Lybrate user, hi Warm welcome to Lybrate.com I have evaluated your query thoroughly.* Pulmonary TB per se will not affect testis, but there may be orchitis from various reasons.* Should take ultrasound of the testis for the same to get better management guidelines. Hope this clears your query. Wishing you fine recovery. Welcome for any further assistance. Regards take care.

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