Pulmonary edema involves the accumulation of fluid in the lung that disrupts with breathing. This condition can be serious and dangerous.
The usual cause of pulmonary edema is heart failure or heart disease that prevents the heart from pumping properly and results to the buildup of fluid in the lungs and other parts of the body. If the lungs are damaged, it can also cause pulmonary edema.
Most of the symptoms of pulmonary edema are the result of difficulty breathing. Some of the symptoms might indicate an underlying cause.
The symptoms might occur daily or occasionally. At certain times, these symptoms can become severe such as:
- Grunting or gurgling sounds while breathing
- Pinkish, frothy mucus from the mouth and nose
- Coronary heart disease
- Impairment to the central nervous system
- High altitude
- Inhaled toxins
- Valvular disease
- Severe trauma
The treatment for pulmonary edema involves the administration of concentrated oxygen via a face mask, prongs in the nostrils or a breathing tube depending on the severity.
The underlying cause of pulmonary edema must be identified quickly and promptly treated. The treatment is based on the underlying cause.
Depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition, the doctor might prescribe various medications such as:
- Antihypertensive medications to lower the blood pressure
- Digoxin to increase the pumping ability of the heart
- Pain medications or sedatives to lower the anxiety level and reduce the demand of the body for oxygen