An overabundance of fluid in the lungs is a serious condition known as pulmonary edema.
Pulmonary edema causes major breathing impediments. It can be triggered by several medical and environmental factors, though it is commonly related to heart disease. It is a severe medical condition that must be addressed immediately.
At CardioVascular Health Clinic, we provide complete heart care and services for pulmonary edema. Here, we walk you through it means, treatment options, and next steps.
Pulmonary edema is also known as lung congestion, pulmonary congestion, or cardiogenic pulmonary edema (when heart disease is a contributing factor).
Pulmonary edema is most frequently caused by heart disorders, though the condition can arise from infections, physical injury, or exposure to certain toxins or pollutants.
Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is a type of pulmonary edema that occurs when blood collects on the left side of the heart due to failure of the left heart ventricle to effectively transfer oxygenated blood. Cardiogenic pulmonary edema can also be caused by severely elevated blood pressure, weakened heart muscle, or heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is a serious risk factor for people with advanced chronic kidney disease.
Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema occurs when internal chest pressure causes capillary ruptures, leading to blood filling the air sacs in the lungs. The causes include:
Environmental factors are also thought to contribute to pulmonary edema. High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) occurs when people who have been conditioned to live in low altitudes travel to altitudes above approximately 8,000 feet.
Pulmonary edema can occur suddenly or gradually. The sudden onset of pulmonary edema is known as acute pulmonary edema.
Both acute and chronic pulmonary edema are potentially fatal. If you are struggling with the above symptoms, please seek immediate medical care.
If your medical team suspects pulmonary edema after a physical exam, they might perform a series of tests. These diagnostic tests can include the following:
Pulmonary edema treatment will first involve introducing oxygen to the lungs through a face mask, though a breathing machine might be necessary in severe cases.
Addressing the fundamental cause of pulmonary edema is critical for successful outcomes. The recommended treatments for cardiogenic pulmonary edema might involve the following procedures:
The medications most often used to treat pulmonary edema are:
When heart disease or heart failure is the contributing cause of pulmonary edema, the following procedures might be appropriate:
If you are experiencing symptoms of pulmonary edema, please call 911 for immediate medical intervention. To schedule a consultation with our dedicated healthcare professionals, please contact our helpful representatives today.
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