Pulmonary Edema – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pulmonary Edema - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pulmonary edema is a disorder which occurs when excess fluid collects in the air sacs of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It hinders gas exchange and can lead to respiratory failure. Pulmonary edema can be acute, having a sudden onset, or chronic, occurring slowly over time. Pulmonary edema is categorized as a medical emergency requiring prompt attention. Pulmonary edema can sometimes lead to death. The perspective improves if one gets diagnosed and treated quickly by Pulmonologists in Mumbai. Treatment for pulmonary edema alters depending on the reason but comprises supplemental oxygen and medications.


Signs and symptoms of pulmonary edema may occur suddenly or grow over time. The symptom one has relies on the type of pulmonary edema.

Acute pulmonary edema 

  • Breathing difficulties or severe shortness of breath with activity or while lying down
  • Feeling suffocated worsens while lying down.
  • Cough, usually with frothy sputum tinged with blood
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Pale skin
  • Wheezing or gasping for breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Bluish Lips

Chronic Pulmonary edema 

Its symptoms are slightly severe until the body can no longer counteract. Distinct symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in breathing when lying flat (orthopnea)
  • Waking up at in the middle of the night with a cough or breathlessness, eased by sitting up (Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea)
  • Swelling (edema) of feet or legs
  • A rapid increase in weight 
  • Fatigue
  • Elevated breathlessness with physical activity
  • Wheezing
  • New or deteriorated coughing


The alveoli fill up with air during normal breathing. The individual breathes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide. Pulmonary edema happens when the alveoli are flooded. When this happens, two situations occur:

  1. The bloodstream could not get adequate oxygen.
  2. The body is not capable of getting rid of carbon dioxide.

Common causes include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack or other heart diseases
  • Leaked, narrowed, or damaged heart valves
  • Sudden high blood pressure
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis (blood infection)
  • Lung damage
  • Exposure to some chemicals
  • Organ failure that causes fluid accumulation (kidney failure or liver cirrhosis)
  • Near-drowning
  • Inflammation
  • Trauma
  • Reaction to certain medications
  • Drug overdose

Besides the direct injury to the lungs, other causes comprise:

  • Brain injuries (brain bleeding, stroke, head injury, brain surgery, tumor, or seizure)
  • High altitude exposure
  • Blood transfusion


It is a disorder that requires immediate treatment. Oxygen is always the initial treatment. Pulmonologists in Mumbai and the healthcare team may support the patient and provide 100 percent oxygen through an oxygen mask.

The pulmonologist will analyze the cause and specify appropriate treatments.

Depending on the condition and the cause, the doctor may also give:

  • Preload reducers
  • Afterload reducers
  • Heart medications
  • Morphine

In severe cases, individuals with Pulmonary edema may need intensive care. In other cases, the patient may need treatment to help breathTo increase the oxygen levels in the blood, oxygen is given either via a face mask or prongs. A breathing tube may be set into the trachea if a ventilator, or breathing machine, is needed.

The perspective for pulmonary edema relies on the severity of the case. If it’s a mild case and immediate treatment is received, the patient will have a complete recovery. Severe cases can be deadly if one delays treatment. One must be sure to see the doctor regularly and get prompt help if experiencing any of the symptoms of pulmonary edema.

Total Views: 76 ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like