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Last Updated: Sep 04, 2019
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Pulmonary Edema - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Pulmonary Edema? What are the symptoms of pulmonary edema? What causes pulmonary edema? How to diagnosis pulmonary edema? What is the best treatment for pulmonary edema? Can pulmonary edema be cured? How to treat pulmonary edema at home? What is the difference between pulmonary edema and pleural effusion? What is the difference between pulmonary edema and pneumonia? How to prevent pulmonary edema? Is pulmonary edema deadly?

What is Pulmonary Edema?

It is a condition in which fluid is filled in the lungs and it is also called lung congestion, lung water, and pulmonary condition. When the condition of pulmonary edema occurs struggle is done by the body to get enough oxygen otherwise there can be shortness in breath.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary edema?

The initial symptom of pulmonary edema is when your body struggles to gain oxygen due to the increase in fluid in the main bloodstream. But the symptoms can get worse if treatment is not taken on time. These are the pulmonary edema in which the symptoms depends:

Long-term pulmonary edema

  • Shortness of breath due to physical activity
  • Breathing difficulty while lying down
  • Feeling of breathlessness
  • Rapid weight gain in the legs
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain in the lower part of the body

High-altitude pulmonary edema

  • Headache
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

What causes pulmonary edema?

  • Congestive heart failure: The most common cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure and this mostly happens when the heart is unable to pump blood and transport it throughout the body thus creating pressure on the lungs and small blood vessels and the fluid starts leaking.
  • Other medical condition: Kidney failure, pneumonia, high blood pressure, heart attack, narrowed or damaged heart valves, lung damage, a blood infection.
  • External factors: Pulmonary edema also caused by external factors which put pressure on the heart and lungs.
  • Trauma, severe injury, lung damage due to inhalation of toxins, exposure to high altitude, drugs overdose.

How to diagnosis pulmonary edema?

The diagnosis will be done by checking the amount of fluid in the blood or symptoms which cause pulmonary edema will be checked. The basic physical exam will be done by the doctor and use of a stethoscope, to look for the following symptoms like Increased heart rate, abnormal heart sound, crackling sound from the lungs, rapid breathing. Patient’s medical history will also be talked about if there is any symptom.

These tests will be recommended by the doctors: Chest X-ray, complete blood count, echocardiogram or ultrasound so as to check abnormal heart activity, ECG, a blood test to check the level of oxygen in the blood.

What is the best treatment for pulmonary edema?

Pulmonary edema is a kind of disease which needs the quick reaction and the first line of treatment is oxygen.

  • Morphine: This is given by the doctor if the patient is suffering from breathlessness and anxiety. But in most of the cases doctors opt out morphine there are more risks than benefits.
  • Diuretics: This is commonly prescribed by the doctor such as furosemide as it decreases the pressure on the lungs and heart which is caused due to extra fluid accumulated there.
  • Blood pressure medications: If a person has a problem of blood pressure then there is a chance that a person may develop pulmonary edema. The doctor will prescribe medication in order to control it.
  • Other conditions can also be the part of pulmonary edema like nervous system conditions thus it will be treated by the doctor and all the conditions which are causing it.
  • In some cases, a person may need assistance in breathing thus a machine will be used which will help in delivering oxygen so that the lungs get more air.

Can pulmonary edema be cured?

Pulmonary edema can be fatal sometimes but if treated quickly and on time the outlook can improve. The treatment of the disease depends upon the cause of the disease and generally supplemental oxygen and medications are included.

How to treat pulmonary edema at home?

These are the things that can be done to treat pulmonary edema at home:

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet which include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, food rich in potassium and magnesium.
  • Reducing the intake of sodium in the diet if the level is more than 2000mg per day.
  • Avoid smoking and going to the polluted or places which have smog all around.
  • One must stay away from alcohol and drugs which are harmful to the body.
  • Physical activities must be done in breaks.
  • Getting a sufficient amount of sleep.

Which medications can cause pulmonary edema?

Drugs that can cause pulmonary edema include tumor necrosis factor IV radiographic contrast agents, methotrexate, protamine, tamoxifen, carbamazepine, cytarabine, erythromycin, and hydrochlorothiazide.

What is the difference between pulmonary edema and pleural effusion?

Pulmonary edema vs pleural effusion:

Pulmonary edema occurs when there is an accumulation of fluid in the lung parenchyma because of the frequent cardiac attack on both sides while pleural effusion occurs fluid is trapped outside the tissue of the lung within the chest cavity and this is a more severe condition which can lead to the collapse of the lung itself.

What is the difference between pulmonary edema and pneumonia?

Pulmonary edema vs. pneumonia:

Pneumonia is a condition which creates problems in the respiratory functions due to infection such as flu and it can be overlapped by pulmonary edema as it is a fatal disease in which there is an accumulation of fluid in the lung parenchyma.

How to prevent pulmonary edema?

To prevent pulmonary edema the patient must do as the doctor says thus keeping the condition under control. Maintaining a well-balanced diet can always help to reduce further risks. Regular exercising can improve the health of the heart.

Some of the additional things can be done like reducing the intake of salt, lowering the level of cholesterol, smoking must be stopped as it increases the risk of heart, lung diseases and circulatory problems.

Is pulmonary edema deadly?

Pulmonary edema can be fatal and can cause respiratory or cardiac arrest due to the accumulation of fluid in the air spaces and tissues of the lungs. But the disease if treated at a time can become less fatal.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 24 years old. Around 1 and a half year, am suffering from lungs and chest swelling. Sometimes I have extreme abdominal pain and I am losing my weight and strength to fight with diseases day by day. About a year ago, my esr was 52. Now the doctor recommended me to use inhaler permanently. I want permanent relief from these health issues. Suggest some daily precautions to keep me fit and some dietary guidance. dietitics and food service management, Diabetes educator
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bhopal
hello, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. eat food with omega -3 fatty acid like fish like salmon,tuna,and sardines and some plant source like flexseed. you can consult me privately online on laybrate for dietary guidelines.

Hi doc, my daughter has gone through chest x ray yesterday and it states that bilateral perihilar congestion. Kindly suggest should I worry about it or should have some medication? What will be its effects of any? She is suffering from cough last 20 days. Please suggest to me.

Alternative Medicine Specialist, Dehradun
Take sky fruit, cow urine caps, org wheat grass powder, nigella cap, tulsi-basil droop, elaichi amrit droops, kasakeshri syrup, may contact for any assistance.
1 person found this helpful

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