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Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) occurs when something causes the small air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluid instead of air. There are multiple things that can cause pulmonary edema, and most of them are heart-related.If you want to learn about the symptoms and causes of fluid in the lungs, consult FastMed. Our staff of medical professionals and our online resources can provide you with more information on most medical conditions.

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you could have fluid in your lungs and should call 9-1-1 immediately.

  • Extreme shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing that worsens when lying down
  • A feeling of suffocation or drowning
  • Wheezing or gasping for breath
  • Anxiety, restlessness, or a sense of apprehension
  • A cough that produces frothy sputum that may be tinged with blood
  • Chest pain if pulmonary edema is caused by heart disease
  • A rapid, irregular heartbeat (palpitations)

What causes fluid in the lungs?

Fluid in LungsPulmonary edema can be caused by heart related or non-heart-related conditions. Here are a few of the causes for pulmonary edema:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Viral infections
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

How is fluid in the lungs treated?

Pulmonary edema is a very serious condition. Once you are admitted into the ER, you will likely be kept in the hospital for a few days. Your doctor will then typically run tests, like x-rays, blood tests, and electrocardiograms, to confirm that you have fluid in your lungs. The first step to treatment for pulmonary edema is oxygen. Because fluid prevents your lungs from getting enough air, you will need oxygen to remain stable.

If you would like to learn more about fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or other medical conditions, visit FastMed’s online medical library.

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