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Pulmonary Edema Tips

Pulmonary Edema - Know More About It!

Dr. Radhika A (Md) 92% (13 ratings)
MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi

Pulmonary Edema
The term Edema refers to swelling. This swelling is generally caused by the fluids inside the blood vessels permeating to the outside of the blood vessels and into the tissues in the surrounding areas. The main causes of this happening are lack of proteins in the blood which hold the fluid in the plasma cells or because of excessive pressure in the blood vessels.

Pulmonary edema is the term used when the lungs are affected by edema. In this condition fluid accumulated in the air spaces and the lung tissues. This is also known as pulmonary congestion, lung congestion or lung water. The small blood vessels in the lungs are surrounded by air sacs known as alveoli. This is the location where oxygen is imbibed by the blood and carbon dioxide is exhaled out by the alveoli. The exchange of gases occurs in the alveoli through the thin walls, fluids are not allowed to enter into these walls unless the integrity of the walls is compromised.

When the alveoli are filled with fluid instead of air from the blood pulmonary edema occurs. This leads to problems in exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide causing difficulty in breathing due to poor oxygenation.

Types
Generally, the most often encountered type is cardiogenic mostly left ventricular but fluid accumulation can also happen due to lung damage due to other reasons. This damage to the lungs might be caused by direct damage or due to indirect damage due to high pressure in the pulmonary circulation. When pulmonary pressure is more than the average value of 15mmHg to more than 25mmHg.

-  Cardiogenic pulmonary edema happens due to the inability of the heart to pump out the blood at a satisfactory rate which may be due to the failure of the left ventricle or fluid overload.

-  Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema occurs when the alveoli are flooded with fluids and the capillaries are ruptured due to a negative pressure in the chest.

-  Flash pulmonary edema is rapidly starting to pulmonary edema. The most common cause is Myocardial infarction or heart attack but it can also be caused by aortic regurgitation which means blood flowing in the opposite direction because of leaking of the aortic valve in the heart. Flash pulmonary edema might occur due to any condition that causes heightened pressures in the left ventricular.

Symptoms
In this condition, the patient struggles to gain oxygen because of the excessive fluid filled in the lungs which prevent the oxygen to move into the bloodstream. The symptoms tend to worsen over time if the fluid is not removed from the lungs.

The most common sign of pulmonary edema is experiencing difficulty in breathing which might develop slowly over time or might be of a sudden onset if the patient is suffering from acute pulmonary edema. Some other common symptoms are tachypnea which is rapid breathing, easy fatigue, weakness and dizziness. Other symptoms like coughing blood which is frothy and pink, anxiety, paleness of the skin and excessive sweating can also be experienced. Hypoxia which is a low oxygen level in the blood might develop in patients with pulmonary edema. The doctor might look for abnormal sounds from the lungs like crackles on examination with a stethoscope.

The symptoms are also dependent on the type of pulmonary edema. These can be classified as:

The signs corresponding to long-term pulmonary edema include wheezing, fast weight gain particularly in the legs, difficulty breathing upon doing physical activities or when lying down, fatigue etc.

High altitude pulmonary edema exhibits symptoms such as fever, cough, rapid heart rate, headaches, and breathlessness after exertion etc.

Risk Factors
Individuals suffering from heart problems or those who have encountered the problem of heart failure at high risk for pulmonary edema. Other than this, some of the risk factors are a history of the disease in the family, blood disorders and a history of diseases affecting the lung such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and tuberculosis.

Causes

  • The causes of pulmonary edema can be divided into cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic causes.
  • In a healthy individual, the lungs extract oxygen from the air and release it into the bloodstream. But when fluid is filled in the lungs, this process is compromised and the body is deprived of oxygen.
  • The cardiogenic causes occur due to poor functioning of the heart because of increased pressure in the blood vessels present in the lungs. The most generally encountered cause is congestive heart failure. This happens when the heart is unable to pump blood adequately throughout the individual’s body. This leads to back up the creation of pressure in the small blood vessels in the lungs and subsequently makes the fluid leak from these blood vessels. Heart attacks and abnormality in the heart valves can also lead to excessive accumulation of blood in the blood vessels in the lungs which might eventually cause pressure build-up which leads to leakage of fluid from the blood vessels into the alveoli.

Non-cardiogenic causes of pulmonary edema include:

  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is a condition which leads to leakage from the alveoli because of an inflammatory response. It is caused by infections, injury to the lungs, trauma, toxin inhalation, infections of the lungs, smoking cocaine etc.
  • An overdose of aspirin might cause aspirin intoxication which can lead to pulmonary edema in elderly people. An overdose of methadone or heroin can also lead to this condition.
  • High altitude pulmonary edema can manifest because of rapid ascent to altitudes more than 10000 feet. Failure of kidneys and the subsequent inability to expel fluids from the body can lead to an excess build-up of fluids in the blood vessels which can cause pulmonary edema. If someone is suffering from an advanced kidney disorder, dialysis may be required to expel the fluids.
  • Rapid lung expansion may sometimes cause re-expansion pulmonary edema. This can happen when a huge amount of fluid is removed from around the lungs or when the lung collapses causing lung expansion. Bleeding in the brain, surgery of the brain, brain trauma can also lead to accumulation of fluids in lungs causing neurogenic pulmonary edema.

Diagnosis

The doctor will check for fluid in the patient’s lungs or for symptoms in the lungs caused by the presence of the fluid. The doctors will perform a medical history check and physical examinations. The doctors listen to the patient’s lungs using a stethoscope, to find out if:

-  There is an increased heart rate of the patient.
-  The patient is breathing rapidly.
-  There are any crackling sounds in the patient’s lungs. 
-  There are any unusual heart sounds.

The doctors also look for a build-up of fluids in the abdomen, legs and neck for swelling. The doctors will also check if you have pale or blue coloured skin. If the doctor believes the patient has fluid in their lungs, they will take additional tests. The tests done in diagnosing pulmonary edema include:

-  Chest X-ray is done to check for fluids and any other problems persisting in the lungs of the patient.
-  Blood tests to check for oxygen levels are done. A complete blood count (CBC) of the patient may also be taken by the doctors. The doctors also check the patient’s medical history.
-  Echocardiography is a test that produces live images of the heart using sound waves. The resulting image is called an Echocardiogram. The procedure is used to check for any abnormality in the heart. The images are used to spot blood clots in the heart, fluids in the sacs around the heart and problems with the aorta which is the main nerve connected to the heart. Echocardiography is the key procedure to determine the health of the heart muscles.  
-  Electrocardiography (ECG) is a procedure which records the electrical activity of the heart over a duration using electrodes attached to the skin of the patient. Electrocardiography is done to obtain structural and functional information of the heart. It is used to judge the heart’s rhythm and find any problems related to cardiac issues. Electrocardiography is used to check for any signs of heart attack.

Treatment
Pulmonary Edema is a very serious problem which requires immediate treatment. The first line of treatment for this condition has always been Oxygen. The medical professionals deliver 100 percent of oxygen to the patient using an oxygen mask, positive pressure mark or a nasal cannula. The doctors will prescribe the right treatment and medications for the cause after diagnosing Pulmonary Edema. Depending on the condition of the patient and the cause for the problem the doctors may also suggest:

-  Preload Reducers – Preload reducers are the drugs or the medications that decrease the preload of the blood vessels. They reduce the pressure from the fluids going into the lungs and heart. Diuretics help in reduction of preload and reducing the pressure by making the patient urinate. The urine helps in eliminating the fluids from their body.

-  Afterload Reducers – Afterload reducers are the drugs that or the medications that decrease the afterload in the blood vessels. These medications dilate the patient’s blood vessels and take the pressure off the patient’s heart. Afterload is the procedure of the heart pushing out or ejection of the blood to the other body organs. Vasodilators are commonly used in the reduction of both the preload and the afterload in the blood vessels of the patient. 

-  Heart Medication – The doctors also prescribe other drugs and medications to reduce other heart problems or to prevent them from occurring in the heart of the patient. These medications control the patient’s pulse, relieve the pressure in the patient’s arteries and veins and reduce the high blood pressure of the patient. 

-  Suction Catheter – A small suction catheter might be used to extract the fluids from the lungs of the patient. This is done by attaching the catheter to a tube and inserting the tube through the air passage of the patient.

-  Morphine – Morphine is a drug that is used as a pain medication. It is found naturally in a number of plants and animals. It works directly upon the Central Nervous System (CNS) to decrease the feeling of pain in the body. The drug is used to relieve shortness of breath and anxiety. But due to the many risks involved not many doctors allow the use of morphine. The side effects include low blood pressure and reduced respiratory efforts. The drug also has a high chance of addiction and abuse. Common side effects are drowsiness, constipation and vomiting. Morphine also affects the baby if used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

In a severe case of pulmonary edema, the patient will require critical or intensive care. Some of the patients of Pulmonary Edema may require treatments to assist their breathing. A machine is used to provide oxygen to get air into the lungs. This can also be done by a mask or a Cannula, also known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The doctors may also insert an endotracheal tube also called a breathing tube into the patient’s throat to use mechanical ventilation to help with the patient’s breathing issues.

Prevention-
There is no the way to completely prevent the disorder. People at high risk should get immediate medical attention as soon as they develop any of the symptoms. The most effective way to try and prevent pulmonary edema is to take good and proper care of your health.  Follow these tips to prevent the disorder:

-  Get vaccinated for pneumonia
-  Get vaccines for flu, especially if you are an older adult or if you have any issues in your heart. 
-  After having an episode of pulmonary edema, don’t stop the use of diuretics as they reduce the chances of the disorder reoccurring.

Try to decrease the chances of heart failure, which is one of the most common causes of pulmonary edema. This can be done by:
-  Visiting the doctor on a regular basis.
-  Refraining from the use of recreational drugs.
-  Avoiding smoking cigarettes.
-  Getting regular exercise and staying active. 
-  Eating healthy food and green vegetables. 
-  Maintaining a normal weight and keeping a check on excessive weight loss or weight gain. 

1 person found this helpful

Know About Different Types Of Pulmonary Diseases!

Dr. Arunesh Kumar 92% (182 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP - General Medicine, MRCP Respiratory Medicine, CCST Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
Know About Different Types Of Pulmonary Diseases!

Pulmonary diseases are some of the most commonly experienced health conditions all over the world. Millions of people suffer due to various causes including genetics, smoking, pollutants and infection. Now lungs are one of the most important and complex organs of the body. They are the apparatus through which oxygen enters and carbon dioxide gets expelled.

Lungs expand and contract on a constant basis to ensure that we can breathe properly. Let us find out more about lung or pulmonary diseases.

  1. Asthma: This is one of the most common and potentially fatal conditions that affect children and adults. It grips the airways formed by the bronchi which branch off into smaller tubes from the main trachea that holds them. This condition causes inflammation, and even spasms, which can lead to wheezing and breathlessness. The main triggers of asthma attacks include allergies, infections and pollutants that may escape into the airways.
  2. COPD: This is also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. It is an umbrella term used for various lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties due to an obstruction of the airways. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions that falls under COPD, and is usually characterised by persistent, hacking coughs.
  3. Cystic Fibrosis: This is another condition that affects the airways by causing poor passage of mucus from the bronchial tubes. This condition is a genetic one where the mucus that gathers eventually becomes a lung infection.
  4. Pneumonia: This is a condition that causes an infection in the alveoli, which are the tiny tubes that the airways branch into. These are air sacs that can catch myriad infections like pneumonia.
  5. Tuberculosis: This is also a kind of pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. This condition usually attacks the air sacs of the lungs and can be a potentially fatal disease if it is not treated on time. The patient will require immediate hospitalisation.
  6. Pulmonary Edema: This condition is caused by fluid leaks from the tiny blood vessels into the surrounding air sacs within the lungs. It can also be caused due to heart failure as well as back pressure which falls on the lungs. Direct injury to the lungs can also lead to this condition.
  7. Lung Cancer: This is a fatal disease which can be found in any part of the lungs. It has many forms and the type as well as the location usually determines the kind of treatment option that will be followed.
  8. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: When the lungs suffer a sudden injury which is usually caused by a bout of serious illness, it is called ARDS. Treatment involves the use of life support ventilation.
303 people found this helpful

Ways Pulmonary Edema Can be Treated!

Dr. R.K.Chopra 91% (124 ratings)
MD - Medicine, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Ways Pulmonary Edema 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:

  1. MorphineMorphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety.
  2. 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.
  3. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels.
  4. 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. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2022 people found this helpful

Ways Pulmonary Edema Can be Treated!

Dr. Kamal Gera 88% (24 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Ways Pulmonary Edema 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:

  1. MorphineMorphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety.
  2. 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.
  3. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels.
  4. 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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2522 people found this helpful

Pulmonary Edema - Ways It Can be Treated!

Dr. (Brig.) Ashok 90% (102 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, MD - Internal Medicine, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Pulmonologist, Delhi
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:

  1. MorphineMorphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety.
  2. 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.
  3. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels.
  4. 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. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.
2742 people found this helpful

Renal Hypertension - Symptoms, Causes And Treatment!

Dr. Sandip Bhurke 93% (175 ratings)
MBBS, MD (Med), DNB (Nephrology)
Nephrologist, Mumbai
Renal Hypertension - Symptoms, Causes And Treatment!

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: 

  1. You may experience symptoms of high blood pressure.
  2. Your kidneys may not function properly due to the impaired supply of blood
  3. It may lead to presence of blood in your urine
  4. You may be affected by pulmonary edema that results in accumulation of fluid in the lungs
  5. It may result in severe headaches and confusion
  6. You may experience blurred vision
  7. You may have nosebleeds
  8. The impaired kidney function may also lead to chronic kidney damage. 

Causes
The various causes of renal hypertension are: 

  1. Accumulation of cholesterol in the body may lead to blockage of the artery due to plaque buildup
  2. 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: 

  1. Excessive alcohol consumption
  2. Substance abuse
  3. Diabetes
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High cholesterol
  6. 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: 

  1. Exercise on a regular basis to keep your heart and body healthy
  2. Limit consumption of alcohol and reduce smoking
  3. Eat well balanced meals to keep obesity at bay
  4. Keep your mind free of stress
  5. Restrict consumption of salt
  6. Maintain optimal weight levels

    If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist.

3015 people found this helpful
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