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Shortness of breath edema: Pulmonary edema – Symptoms & causes


Pulmonary edema – Symptoms & causes


Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by too much fluid in the lungs. This fluid collects in the many air sacs in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

In most cases, heart problems cause pulmonary edema. But fluid can collect in the lungs for other reasons. These include pneumonia, contact with certain toxins, medications, trauma to the chest wall, and traveling to or exercising at high elevations.

Pulmonary edema that develops suddenly (acute pulmonary edema) is a medical emergency that needs immediate care. Pulmonary edema can sometimes cause death. Prompt treatment might help. Treatment for pulmonary edema depends on the cause but generally includes additional oxygen and medications.

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Pulmonary edema symptoms may appear suddenly or develop over time. Symptoms depend on the type of pulmonary edema.

Sudden (acute) pulmonary edema symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea) or extreme shortness of breath that worsens with activity or when lying down
  • A feeling of suffocating or drowning that worsens when lying down
  • A cough that produces frothy sputum that may have blood in it
  • A rapid, irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Anxiety, restlessness or a feeling that something bad is about to happen
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Wheezing or gasping for breath

Long-term (chronic) pulmonary edema signs and symptoms

  • Awakening at night with a cough or breathless feeling that may be relieved by sitting up
  • Difficulty breathing with activity or when lying flat
  • Fatigue
  • More shortness of breath than usual when you’re physically active
  • New or worsening cough
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Swelling in the legs and feet
  • Wheezing

High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) signs and symptoms

high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) can occur in adults and children who travel to or exercise at high altitudes. Symptoms are similar to those that occur with acute pulmonary edema and can include:

  • Headache, which may be the first symptom
  • Shortness of breath with activity, which becomes shortness of breath at rest
  • Not being able to exercise as much as you once could
  • Dry cough, at first
  • Later, a cough that produces frothy sputum that may look pink or have blood in it
  • A very fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Low fever

Symptoms of high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) tend to get worse at night.

When to see a doctor

Pulmonary edema that comes on suddenly (acute pulmonary edema) is life-threatening. Call 911 or emergency medical help if you have any of the following acute symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, especially if it comes on suddenly
  • Trouble breathing or a feeling of suffocating (dyspnea)
  • A bubbly, wheezing or gasping sound when breathing
  • Coughing up phlegm that looks pink or has blood in it
  • Breathing difficulty with a lot of sweating
  • A blue or gray color to the skin
  • Confusion
  • A big drop in blood pressure that causes lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness or sweating
  • A sudden worsening of any of pulmonary edema symptoms

Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. Instead, call 911 or emergency medical care and wait for help.


The causes of pulmonary edema vary. Pulmonary edema falls into two categories, depending on where the problem starts.

  • If a heart problem causes the pulmonary edema, it’s called cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Most often, the fluid buildup in the lungs is due to a heart condition.
  • If pulmonary edema is not heart related, it’s called noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.
  • Sometimes, pulmonary edema can be caused by both a heart problem and a nonheart problem.

Understanding the relationship between the lungs and the heart can help explain why pulmonary edema may occur.

How the lungs work

Lungs contain many small, elastic air sacs called alveoli. With each breath, these air sacs take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Typically, this exchange of gases occurs without problems.

But sometimes, the alveoli fill with fluid instead of air. This keeps the bloodstream from taking in oxygen.

How the heart works

The typical heart is made of two upper and two lower chambers. The upper chambers (the right and left atria) receive incoming blood and pump it into the lower chambers (right and left ventricles). The lower chambers pump blood out of the heart.

Typically, blood without oxygen from all over the body enters the right atrium then the right ventricle. From there it’s pumped through large blood vessels (pulmonary arteries) to the lungs. There, the blood releases carbon dioxide and picks up oxygen as it flows by the alveoli.

The oxygen-rich blood then returns to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins. It then flows through the mitral valve into the left ventricle. Finally, it leaves the heart through the body’s main artery (aorta).

The heart valves keep blood flowing in the right direction. The aortic valve keeps the blood from flowing backward into the heart. From the aorta, the blood travels to the rest of the body.

Chambers and valves of the heart

A typical heart has two upper and two lower chambers. The upper chambers, the right and left atria, receive incoming blood. The lower chambers, the more muscular right and left ventricles, pump blood out of the heart. The heart valves, which keep blood flowing in the right direction, are gates at the chamber openings.

Heart-related (cardiogenic) pulmonary edema

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is caused by increased pressures in the heart.

It’s usually a result of heart failure. When a diseased or overworked left lower heart chamber (left ventricle) can’t pump out enough of the blood it gets from the lungs, pressures in the heart go up. The increased pressure pushes fluid through the blood vessel walls into the air sacs.

Medical conditions that can cause heart failure and lead to pulmonary edema include:

  • Coronary artery disease. Over time, the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle can become narrow from fatty deposits (plaques). A slow narrowing of the coronary arteries can weaken the left ventricle.

    Sometimes, a blood clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries. The clot blocks blood flow and damages part of the heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack. A damaged heart muscle can no longer pump as well as it should.

  • Cardiomyopathy. This term means heart muscle damage. With cardiomyopathy, the heart must pump harder, and pressures rise. Then the heart might not be able to work harder when needed, such as during exercise or with an infection or a rise in blood pressure. When the left ventricle can’t keep up with the demands that are placed on it, fluid backs up into the lungs.
  • Heart valve problems. Narrowing (stenosis) of the aortic or mitral heart valves or a valve that leaks or doesn’t close properly affects blood flow into the heart. A valve leak that develops suddenly might cause sudden and severe pulmonary edema.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure can enlarge the heart.
  • Other heart problems. Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), heart problems present at birth (congenital heart defects) and irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) also may cause pulmonary edema.
  • Kidney disease. High blood pressure due to narrowed kidney arteries (renal artery stenosis) or fluid buildup due to kidney disease can cause pulmonary edema.
  • Chronic health conditions. Thyroid disease and a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis) or protein (amyloidosis) also may contribute to heart failure and cause pulmonary edema.

Non-heart-related (noncardiogenic) pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema that is not caused by increased pressures in the heart is called noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.

Causes of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema include:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This serious disorder occurs when the lungs suddenly fill with fluid. Many conditions can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), including severe injury (trauma), widespread infection (sepsis), pneumonia and severe bleeding.
  • Drug reaction or drug overdose. Many drugs — ranging from aspirin to illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine — are known to cause pulmonary edema.
  • Blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). A blood clot moving from the blood vessels in the legs to the lungs can cause pulmonary edema.
  • Exposure to certain toxins. Inhaling toxins or breathing in some stomach contents when vomiting (aspiration) causes intense irritation of the small airways and air sacs, resulting in fluid buildup.
  • High altitudes. Pulmonary edema has been seen in mountain climbers, skiers, hikers and other people who travel to high elevations, usually above 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters). High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) generally occurs in those who don’t take the days or weeks needed to become used to the elevation. But people who live at high altitudes can get HAPE with no elevation change if they have a respiratory illness.
  • Near drowning. Inhaling water causes fluid buildup in the lungs.
  • Negative pressure pulmonary edema. A blocked upper airway causes negative pressure in the lungs from trying to breathe through the blockage. With treatment, most people with this type of pulmonary edema recover in about 24 hours.
  • Nervous system conditions or surgeries. A type of pulmonary edema called neurogenic pulmonary edema can occur after a head injury, seizure or brain surgery.
  • Smoke inhalation. Smoke from a fire contains chemicals that damage the membrane between the air sacs and the capillaries. The damage allows fluid to enter the lungs.
  • Transfusion-related lung injury. Blood transfusions may cause fluid overload in the left ventricle, leading to pulmonary edema.
  • Viral illnesses. Viruses such as the hantavirus and dengue virus can cause pulmonary edema.

High-altitude pulmonary edema

Air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli, take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. In high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), it’s believed that blood vessels in the lungs squeeze together (constrict), increasing pressure. This causes fluid to leak from the blood vessels to the lung tissues and eventually into the air sacs.

Risk factors

Heart failure and other heart conditions that raise pressure in the heart increase the risk of pulmonary edema. Risk factors for heart failure include:

  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Alcohol use
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart valve disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea

Some nervous system conditions and lung damage due to near drowning, drug use, inhaling smoke, viral illnesses and blood clots also raise the risk.

People who travel to high-altitude locations above 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) are more likely to develop high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). It usually affects those who don’t take the time — a few days to a week or more — to get used to the elevation.

Children who already have pulmonary hypertension and structural heart defects may be more likely to get HAPE.


Complications of pulmonary edema depend on the cause.

In general, if pulmonary edema continues, the pressure in the pulmonary artery can rise (pulmonary hypertension). Eventually, the heart becomes weak and begins to fail, and pressures in the heart and lungs go up.

Pulmonary edema complications may include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Swelling of the legs, feet and belly area
  • Buildup of fluid in the membranes that surround the lungs (pleural effusion)
  • Congestion and swelling of the liver

Immediate treatment is necessary for acute pulmonary edema to prevent death.


You may be able to prevent pulmonary edema by managing existing heart or lung conditions and following a healthy lifestyle.

For example, controlling cholesterol and blood pressure can help lower the risk of heart disease. Follow these tips to keep your heart healthy:

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and a variety of proteins.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Limit salt and alcohol.
  • Manage stress.
  • Manage weight.

Preventing high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)

To prevent HAPE, gradually ascend to high elevations. Although recommendations vary, most experts advise increasing elevation no more than 1,000 to 1,200 feet (about 300 to 360 meters) a day once you reach 8,200 feet (about 2,500 meters).

Some climbers take prescription medications such as acetazolamide or nifedipine (Procardia) to help prevent symptoms of HAPE. To prevent HAPE, start taking the medication at least one day before ascent. Ask your health care provider how long you need to take the medication after you’ve arrived at your high-altitude destination.

Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Diagnosis

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

  • What Is Pulmonary Edema?
  • Pulmonary Edema Symptoms
  • Pulmonary Edema Causes
  • Pulmonary Edema vs. Pleural Effusion vs. Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary Edema Diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Edema Treatment
  • Pulmonary Edema Prevention
  • More

Pulmonary edema is a buildup of fluid in your lungs. That can make it hard for you to breathe.

When you take a breath, your lungs should fill with air. If you have pulmonary edema, they fill with fluid instead. When that happens, oxygen from the air can’t get from your lungs into your blood, where it’s needed.


Acute pulmonary edema comes on suddenly and can be life-threatening. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 right away:

  • Sudden shortness of breath, especially after activity or while lying down
  • Feeling like you’re drowning or your heart is dropping
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble breathing with a lot of sweating
  • Breathing that sounds bubbly, wheezing, or gasping
  • Coughing up pink, frothy spit
  • Skin that’s cold and clammy or looks blue or gray
  • A rapid, uneven heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, weak, or sweaty, which can signal a drop in blood pressure

When the problem happens over time, it’s called chronic pulmonary edema. You may:

  • Be tired
  • Gain weight rapidly (this may be a sign of fluid buildup and congestive heart failure)
  • Have more breathing problems than usual when you’re active
  • Have swollen legs and feet
  • Have trouble breathing when lying down
  • Wake up at night with a breathless feeling that gets better if you sit up
  • Wheeze


There are two main kinds of pulmonary edema: cardiogenic and noncardiogenic.

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema

This type is caused by a problem with your heart.

In many cases, your left ventricle (one of the chambers of your heart) isn’t able to pump out blood that enters through blood vessels from your lung. This creates a buildup of pressure and fluid.

Narrow arteries, heart muscle damage, heart valve problems, and high blood pressure are among the conditions that can weaken your left ventricle.

Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema

This type isn’t related to heart problems. Other causes include:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Blood clots
  • Brain surgery or conditions such as seizures and head injuries
  • High pressure in your chest after your airway is blocked
  • Contact with ammonia, chlorine, or other toxins
  • Inhaling smoke that has certain chemicals
  • Lung injury after removal of blood clots
  • Near-drowning 
  • Reaction to some drugs, including aspirin
  • Opioid overdose
  • Blood transfusion
  • Viral infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood poisoning or sepsis

Pulmonary edema also can be brought on from being in high altitudes, usually above 8,000 feet. Mountain climbers should get to lower ground and seek medical attention if they have:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Cough
  • Cough with frothy spit that may have some blood in it
  • Fast, irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath when they’re active that gets worse over time
  • Trouble walking uphill that leads to trouble walking on a flat surface


It’s easy to get pulmonary edema mixed up with some other lung conditions.

Pleural effusion

Unlike pulmonary edema, in which fluid collects inside your lungs, pleural effusion is when it builds up in the layers of tissue that line the outside of your lungs and the inside of your chest. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a dry cough. It can be caused by problems like heart failure, blood clots, pneumonia, kidney disease, and tuberculosis.


Pneumonia also leads to fluid buildup in the tiny air sacs in your lungs, but it’s caused by an infection with a virus, bacteria, or fungus. Symptoms include chest pain, coughing, fatigue, a fever, shortness of breath, and stomach problems. Pneumonia can sometimes cause pulmonary edema.

To help your doctor find out what’s going on, you may need to:

  • Answer questions about your medical history
  • Have a physical exam
  • Get a chest X-ray so the doctor can study your heart and lungs
  • Have heart tests to measure how well your heart beats
  • Have a blood test to find out how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood

If you’re having trouble breathing and your oxygen level is low, you’ll get oxygen right away. You may get it through a face mask, or with tubes put inside your nostrils.

Your treatment will depend on what’s causing your pulmonary edema. Whether it’s your heart, medication, or an illness, your doctor will try to deal with the problem that brought it on.

The doctor may prescribe medicine such as a diuretic to lower the pressure on your heart and lungs.

Some lifestyle changes can prevent pulmonary edema or help keep the condition in check. Keep your heart healthy by:

  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Eating less salt
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Quitting smoking 
  • Keeping a healthy weight 

If you’re going somewhere at a higher elevation, try to get used to the altitude change slowly. Talk to your doctor about medications that might make you less likely to get high-altitude pulmonary edema.

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Heart failure edema: symptoms and treatment


  • 1 Heart failure edema: symptoms, treatment and prevention
    • 1. 1 What is heart failure?
    • 1.2 What is edema and how does it occur?
      • 1.2.1 Definition of edema
      • 1.2.2 Causes of edema
      • 1.2.3 Symptoms of edema
      • 1.2.4 Treatment of edema in heart failure
    • and insufficiency: symptoms and treatment
      • 1.3.1 What are the symptoms of edema due to heart failure?
    • 1.4 Heart failure edema: symptoms and treatment
      • 1.4.1 What complications can heart failure edema cause?
    • 1.5 Diagnostics of edema for heart failure
      • 1.5.1 Symptoms of edema for heart failure
      • 1.5.2 Diagnostics of edema for heart failure
      • 1.5.3 Treatment of edema for heart failure
    • 1.6 Treatment of edema in heart failure
      • 1.6.1 Causes of edema in heart failure
      • 1.6.2 Treatment of edema in heart failure
    • 1.7 Prevention of edema cov in heart failure
      • 1.7.1 Follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment of HF
      • 1. 7.2 Limit fluid and salt intake
      • 1.7.3 Avoid prolonged sitting posture
      • 1.7.4 Maintain a regular physical activity schedule
      • 1.7.5 Avoid alcohol and smoking
    • 1.8 When should you seek help?
      • 1.8.1 Symptoms of edema in heart failure
      • 1.8.2 When should you seek help?
    • 1.9 Drugs for treating heart failure edema
    • 1.10 Surgery for heart failure edema
      • 1.10.1 When is surgery required?
    • 1.11 Treatment of edema in elderly patients
    • 1.12 Related videos:
    • 1.13 Q&A:
        • What are the symptoms of edema in heart failure?
        • How can I tell if I have heart failure edema?
        • Can factors increase the risk of edema in heart failure?
        • What drugs are used for edema in heart failure?
        • Which fluids should be avoided for edema in heart failure?
        • Does prevention of edema help in heart failure?

In heart failure, edema may occur, which is manifested by swelling of the legs, abdomen or lungs. Find out how to identify and treat edema associated with heart failure in our article.

Heart failure is a severe circulatory disorder that can lead to serious complications such as edema. It occurs due to fluid retention in the tissues and causes significant discomfort. Impaired heart function, low levels of protein in the blood, and diseases such as cancer or kidney disease can contribute to it.

Symptoms of edema in heart failure vary and include swelling of the legs, abdomen, arms, and even lungs. Outwardly, they are manifested by weight gain, tension on the skin and a decrease in mobility. Shortness of breath, fatigue, and lack of air may also occur.

Treatment of edema in heart failure is aimed at diagnosing and correcting the cause. One way is to reduce the amount of salt in your food and avoid alcohol completely. In addition, diuretics are shown – drugs that help get rid of excess fluid from the tissues. However, the best solution is always to visit a doctor who will select the most optimal course of treatment for each specific case.

Remember that heart failure edema should be treated as early as possible to prevent complications and maintain good health in the long term. Do not postpone a visit to the doctor if you have an interest in this problem.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot work properly to pump blood through the body. This is usually due to damage to the heart muscle, which is responsible for contracting and expanding the heart so that blood can circulate through the body.

Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet control, and stress management. Severe cases may require medication and surgery, such as a heart transplant.

    • signs of heart failure:
      1. cough

At the first sign of heart failure, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Risk factors such as smoking, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided. On the recommendation of a doctor, you can take steps to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

What is edema and how does it occur?

Definition of Edema

Edema is the swelling of body tissues due to fluid retention. Edema can occur in any part of the body, but it is most common in the legs, abdomen, and lungs.

Causes of edema

Heart failure is one of the main causes of edema. When the heart is unable to efficiently pump blood around the body, stagnant processes, increased pressure in the capillaries and fluid retention in the tissues occur.

Edema can also occur due to diseases of the kidneys, liver or lymphatic system, as well as due to malnutrition, trauma and allergic reactions.

Symptoms of edema

The main symptoms of edema are tissue swelling, weight and pain in the legs, abdomen or other parts of the body. Shortness of breath, fatigue, and excessive sweating may also occur.

Treatment of edema in heart failure

Treatment of edema in heart failure includes the use of diuretics to help the body get rid of excess fluid, and lifestyle changes – reducing salt in the diet, moderate exercise and other recommendations of a doctor. Treatment of the underlying disease, procedures and measures to improve blood circulation may also be required.

Heart failure edema: symptoms and treatment

What are the symptoms of edema due to heart failure?

Edema is soft tissue swelling due to fluid accumulation. In heart failure, swelling can occur in various places on the body, such as the legs, ankles, abdomen, lungs, and even the face.

The patient may also experience other symptoms such as weight gain, shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, chest pain. Shortness of breath is especially aggravated by exertion or by lying on the back.

      • Weight gain: due to accumulation of fluid in the body.
      • Shortness of breath: due to accumulation of fluid in the lungs. The patient may feel pressure in the chest and difficulty breathing.
      • Fatigue: may be due to the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently, as well as fatigue associated with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
      • Cough: this symptom occurs when fluid from the lungs begins to pass through the airways. It may be accompanied by hemoptysis.
      • Chest pain: may occur with heart failure, especially during exercise.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor. The doctor will make the correct diagnosis and prescribe adequate treatment.

Heart failure edema: symptoms and treatment

What complications can heart failure edema cause?

Edema in heart failure can lead to various complications that can greatly impair the patient’s quality of life. One of the most serious complications is respiratory failure, which can be caused by pulmonary edema. In turn, respiratory failure can lead to complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

In addition, edema can cause impaired microcirculation and the formation of venous ulcers, which can trigger infectious processes and even lead to gangrene. If the edema is not treated, it can also lead to deterioration in kidney function and the development of chronic kidney failure.

In some cases, edema can cause thromboembolic complications such as thrombosis and embolism. These complications can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and even death.

In general, heart failure edema is a serious disease that requires timely diagnosis and treatment. When the first symptoms of edema appear, you should consult a doctor to start treatment and prevent the development of complications.

Diagnosis of edema in heart failure

Symptoms of edema in heart failure

Edema in heart failure is a common symptom associated with fluid retention in body tissues. Swollen legs, shins or feet, swelling of the lungs, abdomen or other parts of the body, and rapid weight gain are all signs that may indicate the presence of edema.

Diagnosing edema in heart failure

Your doctor may do a number of tests to diagnose edema in heart failure. For example, measuring the volume of the legs, abdomen, or other edematous area may be helpful in determining the degree of edema. Blood tests and ultrasounds may also be ordered to evaluate heart function and determine if there are other conditions that may be causing the swelling.

Treatment of edema in heart failure

Treatment of edema in heart failure may vary depending on the cause of the edema and its severity. A doctor may prescribe diuretics to reduce fluid retention in the tissues, but the cause of the heart failure may also need to be treated. Reducing salt intake and fluid restriction may also benefit patients with heart failure edema.

Treatment of edema in heart failure

Causes of edema in heart failure

Edema in heart failure occurs due to fluid retention in the body, which is caused by a malfunction of the heart. As a result of insufficient blood flow, fluid begins to accumulate in tissues and organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, legs and abdomen, causing swelling.

Methods for the treatment of edema in heart failure

      • Taking diuretic drugs. This group of drugs helps to remove excess fluid from the body through the kidneys. They reduce swelling and reduce pressure in blood vessels.
      • Drug therapy with glucocorticosteroids. Hormonal drugs reduce inflammation and swelling.
      • Reducing sodium intake. Restriction of salt in the diet will help reduce fluid retention in the body.
      • Appeal to a cardiologist. The doctor may prescribe individual treatment and observation of the patient.

It is important to understand that the treatment of edema in heart failure must be timely and complete. It is necessary to monitor the dosage of drugs, not self-medicate and visit a doctor regularly.

Prevention of edema in heart failure

Follow your doctor’s recommendations for the treatment of HF

The key to preventing edema in heart failure is to treat the underlying disease correctly. The doctor will prescribe the necessary medications that will help improve blood circulation and reduce the load on the heart. Follow the instructions for taking your medications and don’t skip doses.

Limit your fluid and salt intake

If you have heart failure, your body cannot handle more fluid, so your doctor may prescribe fluid restrictions. Also, avoid eating large amounts of salt, as this leads to fluid retention in the body.

Avoid prolonged sitting postures

Prolonged sitting leads to reduced circulation and swelling. Therefore, in HF, it is important to avoid prolonged sitting and try to move more frequently. If your job involves long periods of sitting, take regular breaks to stretch and warm up.

Stay active

Moderate physical activity improves circulation and prevents swelling. But before starting classes, it is necessary to consult a doctor and choose exercises that do not burden the heart.

Do not abuse alcohol and smoking

Alcohol and smoking adversely affect the heart and increase the risk of heart failure. Therefore, try to avoid these bad habits so as not to worsen your condition.

When should you seek help?

Symptoms of edema in heart failure

In heart failure, edema occurs due to fluid retention in the body. Its symptoms can appear in different parts of the body, for example, in the legs, abdomen, lungs, chest. Swelling may be accompanied by murmurs in the lungs, shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and other signs of heart failure.

When should you seek help?

If symptoms of edema occur due to heart failure, seek medical attention immediately. Treatment of edema requires specialist supervision and specific treatments such as diuretic therapy, diet and regimen, exercise, and other methods.

In general, if you have any concerns about your heart health, you should see your doctor for a risk assessment and necessary investigations. Persistent symptoms of edema in any part of the body, especially in combination with dysfunction of the heart, may require immediate medical attention.

      • Urgent need to seek care due to:
        • One or more symptoms of heart failure such as shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, swelling in the legs or abdomen;
        • Severe pulmonary edema or complete heart failure;
        • Symptoms of edema with decreased urine output;
        • Marked deterioration in well-being;
      • Experts recommend seeing a doctor for risk assessment and examination if:
        • There are signs of heart failure that do not disappear, for example, edema, high blood pressure, frequent attacks of shortness of breath;
        • The person who wants to be tested has a high risk of disease due to medical history or heredity;
        • The person experiences discomfort or pain in the chest, which may be related to the heart.

Heart failure edema

Swelling in heart failure is a serious symptom that requires immediate treatment. There are many drugs that help reduce swelling and improve the patient’s condition.

      • Diuretics are the main class of drugs used to treat edema in heart failure. They increase the excretion of fluid from the body through the kidneys. These include thiazides, loop diuretics, and potassium-sparing diuretics.
      • ACE inhibitors and ARA II – These medicines help improve heart function, lower blood pressure, and reduce swelling.
      • Anticoagulants are used to prevent blood clots that can lead to serious complications of heart failure.
      • Nitrates – used to dilate blood vessels and reduce the load on the heart.
      • Beta blockers – used to lower heart rate, lower blood pressure and improve heart function.

It is important to remember that any treatment for heart failure edema should only be done under medical supervision.

Surgical correction of edema in heart failure

When is surgery required?

Surgical correction may be required when drug therapy does not adequately reduce edema in heart failure. Surgery may also be needed in acute heart failure, when there is no time for medical treatment.

Surgery may also be needed if the cause of the swelling is a lung disorder such as an abscess or tumor that can only be removed by surgery.

In any case, the decision to operate is made directly by the doctor based on symptoms, monitoring the effectiveness of drug treatment and other medical indicators.

Features of the treatment of edema in elderly patients

The elderly are a special category of patients in the treatment of edema in heart failure. Given the age-related changes in the body, as well as the presence of concomitant diseases, they require a more careful and individual approach to treatment.

When prescribing diuretics (drugs to reduce swelling) in the elderly, possible side effects and contraindications should be considered. The lack of effect of diuretics can be due to many factors, including impaired kidney and heart function, as well as taking other medications.

Control of fluid and salt intake is an important part of treatment in the elderly, as disturbances in this area can exacerbate edema and lead to complications. In some cases, medical personnel may be required to regulate fluids and monitor fellow patients in the hospital room.

Thus, the treatment of edema in elderly patients requires a more careful and individual approach, taking into account age-related and concomitant diseases, as well as control of fluid and salt intake.

Related videos:


What symptoms mean swelling in heart failure?

Heart failure edema is manifested by swelling of the legs, lower legs, abdomen, lungs and other parts of the body, as well as weight gain while maintaining appetite and reduced activity.

How can I tell if I have heart failure edema?

You can find out if you have swelling by pressing on your foot and checking how quickly the skin returns to its original state. If the swelling is caused by heart disease, it will last longer and will not go away at night or after emptying the bladder.

Can factors increase the risk of edema in heart failure?

Yes, the risk of edema in heart failure is increased by high salt intake, standing jobs, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol and tobacco abuse.

What drugs are used for edema in heart failure?

Diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (AT1-B), aldosterone antagonists, central α2 agonists, vasodilators, etc. are used in the treatment of edema in heart failure.

In case of edema due to heart failure, it is advisable not to drink too much liquid, and also not to drink alcohol, coffee, sweet carbonated drinks, strong tea.

Does prevention of edema help in heart failure?

Yes, prevention to prevent heart failure edema includes diet, exercise, weight control, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol intake.

Pulmonary edema: symptoms, causes and treatment


  • 1 Pulmonary edema: causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention
    • 1.1 Definition of pulmonary edema
    • 1.2 Symptoms of pulmonary edema
    • 1.3 Causes of pulmonary edema
    • 1.4 Types of pulmonary edema
      • 1.4.1 Cardiogenic pulmonary edema
      • 1.4.2 Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema
      • 1.4.3 Mixed pulmonary edema
    • 1.5 Diagnosis of pulmonary edema
      • 1.5.1 Symptoms of pulmonary edema
      • 1.5.2 Diagnosis of pulmonary edema
      • 1.5.3 When to see a doctor
    • treatment of pulmonary edema
    • 1.8 Inhalation therapy for pulmonary edema
    • 1.9 Breathing exercises to relieve pulmonary edema
    • 1.10 Prevention of pulmonary edema
      • 1.10.1 Take care of your health
      • 1.10.2 Maintain a healthy lifestyle life
      • 1.10.3 Maintain healthy breathing
      • 1. 10.4 Monitor your body weight
    • 1.11 Findings
      • 1.11.1 Conclusion on pulmonary edema
    • 1.12 Related videos:
    • 1.13 Q&A:
        • What is pulmonary edema?
        • What symptoms accompany pulmonary edema?
        • What are the causes of pulmonary edema?
        • How is pulmonary edema diagnosed?
        • How can pulmonary edema be treated?
        • How can pulmonary edema be prevented?

Pulmonary edema is a serious medical condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs, making breathing difficult and reducing oxygen supply to the body. General symptoms, causes and treatment of pulmonary edema – in the article.

Pulmonary edema is a common condition that occurs when fluid accumulates in the lungs and is released into the extracellular space. This can happen due to various reasons such as cardiovascular disease, infection, injury, exposure to toxic substances or drugs.

Symptoms of pulmonary edema can range from tightness of breath and coughing to serious complications if help is not sought quickly enough. Risk factors can also make you more likely to develop pulmonary edema, including high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease, obesity, and certain habits such as smoking or drug use.

Understanding the symptoms and risk factors for pulmonary edema will help treat the condition effectively. Consultation with a doctor and consistent treatment, which may include medication, breathing procedures, and lifestyle changes, can improve quality of life and allow the patient to cope with future flare-ups.

Pulmonary edema definition

Pulmonary edema is a condition in which excess fluid builds up in the lung tissues and blood vessels. This can lead to difficulty breathing and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of pulmonary edema include cough, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, and cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms may develop gradually or come on suddenly.

Causes of pulmonary edema range from heart disease such as heart failure and cardiomyopathy to lung disease such as pneumonia and asthma. Other causes may include allergic reactions, trauma, and certain types of medications.

Treatment of pulmonary edema depends on the cause. In patients with cardiac edema, medications such as diuretics and drugs to improve heart function may be used. Patients with pulmonary edema due to lung disease may need medications to relieve inflammation of the lung tissue and treat infections. In some cases, hospitalization and the use of oxygen may be required.

Symptoms of pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is a serious violation of the generic function of the lungs, which can lead to oxygen retention in the body. You should pay attention to several characteristic symptoms that may indicate a possible pulmonary edema.

  • Shortness of breath and labored breathing. These symptoms may appear both as a result of exercise and at rest. The person may feel that they cannot breathe normally, even if nothing seems to be happening.
  • Inability to lie on back. With pulmonary edema, it may be difficult for the patient to lie on their back. This position can cause profuse sweating, airway spasms, palpitations, and coughing.
  • Bluish skin tone. With pulmonary edema, the patient may develop a blue or pale skin tone due to lack of oxygen.
  • Frequent pulse and palpitations. Pulmonary edema may cause increased heart rate and palpitations.

Causes of pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is a serious condition that results from the accumulation of fluid in the lung tissue. Pulmonary edema can be caused by many reasons, among which the most common are:

  1. Heart failure is a violation of the heart, which leads to a decrease in its contractile function. As a result, the heart is unable to completely pump blood out of the lung capillaries, resulting in fluid accumulation in the lung tissue.
  2. Respiratory failure is a condition in which the body does not get enough oxygen, resulting in impaired lung function and accumulation of fluid in lung tissues.
  3. Injuries to the lungs is damage to the lung tissue as a result of an injury, which can lead to impaired function and accumulation of fluid.
  4. infections are diseases that cause inflammation of the lung tissue and the accumulation of fluid in it.
  5. Allergies are a reaction of the body to certain substances that can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the lung tissue.

If you have symptoms of pulmonary edema, it is important to consult a doctor in time, who will determine the cause of the disease and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Types of pulmonary edema

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema occurs when the heart fails to work, when the blood stagnates in the pulmonary capillaries and goes beyond them. This leads to disruption of gas exchange and suppression of respiratory function. Symptoms of cardiogenic pulmonary edema are shortness of breath, cough with pinkish sputum, palpitations, swelling in the legs, low blood pressure.

Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema

Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema is caused by other factors, such as infections, trauma, myocardial infarction, inhalation of toxic substances. In this case, the capillaries of the lungs pass fluid and proteins into the intercellular space, which leads to pulmonary edema. Symptoms of non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema are heavy breathing, orthopnea (decent respiratory failure), low blood pressure, cyanosis (cyanosis) of the skin and mucous membranes.

Mixed pulmonary edema

Mixed pulmonary edema occurs as a result of several factors affecting the body, such as depression of cardiac function and lung infections. Symptoms of mixed pulmonary edema combine signs of both cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic edema – shortness of breath, heavy breathing, dry or pinkish sputum, shortness of breath at rest, lowering blood pressure, cyanosis.

Table: Features of the types of pulmonary edema Type of pulmonary edema CauseSymptoms

Cardiogenic Heart failure Shortness of breath, cough with pinkish sputum, palpitations, swelling in the legs, low blood pressure
Non-cardiogenic Infections, injuries, inhalation of toxic substances 9060 4

Heavy breathing, orthopnea, low blood pressure, cyanosis skin and mucous membranes
Mixed Effects of several factors on the body Shortness of breath, heavy breathing, dry or with pinkish sputum, shortness of breath at rest, low blood pressure, cyanosis

Diagnosis of pulmonary edema

Symptoms of pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is a serious condition in which fluid begins to accumulate in the lungs. The main symptom of pulmonary edema is a feeling of shortness of breath, which gradually increases. The patient may experience difficulty breathing and cough. In addition, the following symptoms may occur:

  • rapid or irregular heartbeat;
  • pale skin;
  • sweating;
  • swelling in the legs, abdomen or lungs.

Diagnosis of pulmonary edema

To diagnose pulmonary edema, it is necessary to consult a general practitioner. The doctor will examine the patient and identify symptoms of pulmonary edema. Later, additional examinations will be ordered:

  • X-ray of the lungs allows you to confirm the presence of fluid in the lungs.
  • Echocardiography is used to study the structure and function of the heart, and to determine if there are abnormalities due to pulmonary edema.
  • Cardiac catheterization measures the pressure in the heart and determines the presence of diseases that can cause pulmonary edema.
  • A blood test checks for infections and other conditions that can cause pulmonary edema.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience shortness of breath or other symptoms of pulmonary edema, you should see your doctor. With the appearance of severe shortness of breath, attacks of suffocation and palpitations, you should immediately consult an emergency doctor. Do not ignore the symptoms of pulmonary edema, as this can lead to serious complications and even death.

Treatment of pulmonary edema

Treatment of pulmonary edema depends on the cause. If the edema is caused by heart failure, then the main treatment is medications aimed at improving the functioning of the heart. At the same time, diuretics are prescribed, which help to remove excess fluid from the body and reduce swelling.

If pulmonary edema is caused by an allergic reaction, then antihistamine therapy and the appointment of glucocorticosteroids are necessary to reduce swelling of the mucous membranes.

In each case, it is necessary to carry out complex therapy, which includes not only drug treatment, but also physiotherapy, a diet aimed at improving metabolic processes and strengthening immunity.

  • Pain medications are prescribed to reduce pain.
  • Vascular preparations are used to improve vascular tone and increase vascular lumen.
  • Physiotherapy treatments may include ultrasound therapy, massage, respiratory gymnastics.

If medical therapy fails, surgery may be required to correct the cause of the pulmonary edema.

Medicines to treat pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment. Medicines used to treat pulmonary edema are aimed at eliminating the causes of its occurrence and the symptoms of the disease.

Diuretics are often used to correct excess fluid balance. They help to remove excess fluid from the body, reduce swelling and improve blood circulation in the lungs.

In addition, drugs that improve the functions of the cardiovascular system, as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to treat pulmonary edema.

It is important to understand that self-treatment of pulmonary edema can be dangerous and lead to serious complications. Therefore, before starting treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor and strictly follow his recommendations.

Inhalation Therapy for Pulmonary Edema

Inhalation Therapy is a treatment for pulmonary edema where drugs are delivered directly into the airways through an inhaler. It allows you to deliver the medicinal substance directly to the site of inflammation and swelling, which provides faster and more effective treatment.

Inhalation therapy for pulmonary edema can be done in a hospital or at home using an inhaler. To achieve the best effect, you must follow the instructions and use the drugs correctly. It is also necessary to carry out inhalation therapy on the recommendation of a doctor and not to exceed the dosage.

Inhalation therapy is a safe and effective treatment for pulmonary edema. In some cases, it can be used in combination with other methods, such as oxygen therapy or the use of mechanical ventilation.

  • Benefits of inhalation therapy:
    • Fast and effective delivery of the medicinal substance directly to the site of inflammation and swelling.
    • Possibility to carry out the procedure at home using an inhaler.
    • Safe and no side effects when used correctly.
  • Disadvantages of inhalation therapy:
    • Some drugs can cause irritation and cough.
    • The need to follow directions and use medicines correctly.
    • Impossible to perform the procedure in small children or people with limited mobility.

In general, inhalation therapy is an effective treatment for pulmonary edema, which can be used at different stages of the disease. As in any other case, it is necessary to consult a doctor and follow his recommendations in order to achieve the best result and avoid possible complications.

Breathing exercises to relieve pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema can lead to respiratory failure, but in some cases, breathing exercises can help relieve breathing and reduce swelling. In addition, breathing exercises can improve the functioning of the respiratory system and reduce the risk of recurrence of edema.

Another exercise is “abdominal breathing”. It helps reduce physical stress on the lungs and reduce pressure in them. To do this, you need to sit or lie on your back with your hands on your stomach. Inhale through the nose, fill the belly with air and then slowly exhale through the mouth, squeezing the belly. You need to repeat the exercise several times a day.

It is important to remember that breathing exercises are not the only treatment for pulmonary edema and do not replace medical advice. However, when used correctly, they can help make breathing easier and improve lung health.

Prevention of pulmonary edema

Look after your health

To avoid pulmonary edema, you need to take care of your health. See your doctor regularly and follow his recommendations. If you suffer from heart failure, hypertension, or other conditions, you are more likely to get pulmonary edema. A timely visit to the doctor will help to avoid such problems.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and regular exercise can help prevent pulmonary edema. Limit your intake of salt, fats and alcohol. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Exercise at a moderate intensity to strengthen your heart and lungs.

Maintain Healthy Breathing

For healthy breathing, you need to breathe properly. Learn to breathe deeply and regularly. Avoid smoking because it increases the risk of pulmonary edema. Spring allergies and colds can cause pulmonary edema, so be especially careful during these seasons.

Watch your weight

Overloading your body with excess weight can contribute to pulmonary edema. Monitor your weight and, if necessary, try to lose weight. It is also extremely important not to over-diet or lose weight too quickly, as this can be detrimental to your health.


Pulmonary edema report

Pulmonary edema is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. It can be caused by a variety of causes, including heart, lung, kidney disease, infection, and injury.

Treatment of pulmonary edema may include the use of oxygen, diuretics, decongestants, antibiotics, and other medications. Exercise and lifestyle changes can also help prevent and reduce the risk of pulmonary edema.

  • Pulmonary edema should not be ignored or delayed. Any symptoms of pulmonary edema require immediate attention from a doctor.
  • Treatment of pulmonary edema should only be initiated by a qualified medical professional and should be strictly controlled.
  • Preventive measures such as exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and regular medical check-ups can help prevent pulmonary edema and improve your overall health.

Related videos:


What is pulmonary edema?

Pulmonary edema is a condition where too much fluid builds up in the lungs, causing them to malfunction and be life threatening. This medical condition requires immediate attention.

What are the symptoms associated with pulmonary edema?

The main symptoms of pulmonary edema are short-term breathing, chest tightness, heaviness in the chest, rapid breathing, coughing, and possible speech or consciousness disturbances. It is important to note that symptoms may appear gradually and worsen over time.

What are the causes of pulmonary edema?

Pulmonary edema can be caused by many factors, such as heart disease (eg, heart failure), lung disease (eg, pneumonia), allergies, chest trauma, and use of drugs or other fluid-retaining substances.

How is pulmonary edema diagnosed?

Pulmonary edema is diagnosed by a doctor, who may use a variety of research methods such as physical examination, X-rays, computed tomography, electrocardiogram, blood and urine tests, and other methods, depending on the causes of pulmonary edema.

How can pulmonary edema be treated?

Treatment for pulmonary edema depends on the cause and may include drugs, oxygen, breathing exercises, lifestyle changes, and may require hospitalization for more serious procedures such as mechanical ventilation.