Symptoms of Fluid in Lungs

Symptoms of Fluid in Lungs

Pulmonary edema refers to a medical condition in which fluid is pushed into alveolar sacs, which are tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs. As a result of the accumulation of fluid inside the lungs, one's ability to breathe is adversely affected. More often than not, lung edema is caused because of congestive heart failure, a heart condition wherein the heart struggles to pump enough amount of blood throughout the physique. Pulmonary edema should not be mistaken for pleural effusion, which in turn is a condition where smooth accumulates throughout the lungs. The following sections provide information on the causes and signs of fluid in the lungs.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Edema

When fluid all of a sudden builds up in the lungs, one is diagnosed with acute pulmonary edema. This can be a serious medical condition that can prove to be life-threatening in the absence of treatment. The symptoms include:

Dyspnea (Shortness of Breath)

Dyspnea on exertion.

Orthopnea (Shortness of Breath While Lying Down Down)

Restlessness or anxiety.

Feeling of Suffocation

Rapid breathing.


Gurgling sounds although breathing.

Air Hunger or Gasping for Breath

Blood-tinged sputum.

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Rapid, Irregular Heartbeat

Weakness or fatigue.

Pale Skin

Excessive sweating.

Hikers or skiers are usually susceptible to high-altitude pulmonary edema, which usually happens above 8,000 feet. This problem may be seen as an symptoms like dyspnea after exertion. At times, shortness of breath could be experienced while resting. Cough, headache, temperature, heart palpitations, difficulty moving uphill, blood-tinged frothy sputum, or even torso pain is also another signs and symptoms that might always be experienced.
  • Case of persistent pulmonary edema, the individual might produce swelling as a result of fluid retention in the extremities.
  • This usually occurs in case of individuals suffering from congestive heart failure.
  • Also, the patient might wake up at night because of the sensation of breathlessness.
  • The sensation generally resolves by changing from laying in order to sitting position.
  • Additionally, dyspnea, wheezing, and also fatigue are also skilled.

Pulmonary Edema and Heart Failure

The human heart is a buff organ that consists four chambers. The upper chambers are usually referred to as right atrium and remaining atrium, while the lower chambers are called right ventricle as well as left ventricle. As the atria get bloodstream, the function of pumping bloodstream to the other parts of the body is actually done by the left ventricle. Let us find out how the heart operates.

The Deoxygenated Blood Moves Straight Into the Right Atrium

After that, it moves through the tricuspid valve straight into the right ventricle. From there, it is pumped with the lung arteries to the lungs, where it gets oxygenated. The pulmonary veins carry the oxygenated blood to the left atrium. The actual mitral device situated between the left atrium and left ventricle opens to allow the blood to pass to the left ventricle. The control device closes to steer clear of the backflow of blood into the still left atrium. The oxygenated blood is then carried by the aorta to different parts of the body.

The left ventricle is unable to pump blood properly because of damage to the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), coronary artery disease (hardening or narrowing of the arteries due to cholesterol deposits), or even the backflow of blood in to the remaining atrium due to a valve defect, the actual still left atrium can come under pressure. As a result, fluid may back up in the lungs. Afterwards, the actual alveolar sacs may fill up with blood. This has an adverse effect on the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which in turn leads to shortness of breath.

Besides the cardiogenic factors, pulmonary edema could also be attributed to non-cardiogenic conditions such as exposure or breathing of poisons, acute respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory infections, pulmonary embolism, adverse reaction to a particular drugs, lung injury, neurogenic pulmonary edema, or when one nearly drowns.

On a concluding note, pulmonary edema could be a sign of congestive heart failure or other serious medical conditions. Therefore, medical attention must be sought by those who experience the aforementioned symptoms. Chest X-rays, pulse oximetry, ECG, blood tests, and also the examination of lung sounds, etc., are a few of the tests that can help diagnose this problem. Abnormal lung appears such as discontinuous bubbling, rattling, or clicking sounds could be indicative of pulmonary edema.

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John DeanJohn Dean
John is a content specialist at nutriburner.com, a collection of articles about alternative health tips. Previously, John worked as a manager for a well-known tech software site. When he's not researching articles, John enjoys painting and archery.