Pulmonary Edema may form for the accumulation of fluid in the lungs that causes difficulty breathing to the people.
There are many possible causes for which Pulmonary Edema may appear, among the most common are the following:
Consumption of some medicines
Exposure to high altitude
Pulmonary Edema manifests suddenly and must be attended to immediately, as it can aggravate the situation. Symptoms may include the following:
Breathing difficulties, aggravated at bedtime
Coughing up blood or foam
Shortness of breath or suffocation
Confusion or decreased alertness
Swelling of the abdomen or legs
Diagnosis of Pulmonary Edema
The Cardiologist will perform a physical exam, ask questions related to your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, especially if you have suffered from any pulmonary or cardiovascular disease.
Following are some of the most common tests that could be carried out:
An Electrocardiogram check the rhythm of the heart
Echocardiogram produces video images of the heart, the size and shape of the heart can be observed, in addition to any abnormality
Chest X-ray allows seeing the state of the lungs and heart
A pulse oximeter, will enable you to determine how much oxygen you have in your blood
Cardiac Catheterization, the doctor can examine the heart's arteries, measure the pressure in the heart chambers, check the heart valves, and look for Pulmonary Edema
Treatment of Pulmonary Edema
The treatment provided by your Cardiologist will depend on the severity of the Pulmonary Edema. As a first step, the doctor will take care of giving you oxygen through a face mask or nasal cannula. This helps improve symptoms.
Your Cardiologist will monitor the oxygen level; respiratory assistance may be required through equipment such as a mechanical ventilator or equipment that provides positive air pressure.
Treatment provided will be tailored to the cause of Pulmonary Edema; common treatment options include:
Morphine (MS Contin)
Blood pressure medications
In case the Pulmonary Edema is caused by another disease, your doctor will treat both the disease that is causing it and the Pulmonary Edema
Living with Pulmonary Edema
Following the treatment provided by your Cardiologist and leading a healthy lifestyle could help improve quality of life.
We group the following recommendations:
Controls other medical disorders, such as glucose levels if you have Diabetes
Decrease salt intake
Do not smoke
Have a moderate alcohol consumption
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintain a healthy diet
¿When to see a doctor?
It is essential to consult a Cardiology specialist to diagnose Pulmonary Edema and to be able to start a treatment that helps you control your symptoms.
At the time of consulting your Cardiologist, try to keep a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.
If you have any of the symptoms described or if you detect another abnormal symptom. Call your doctor.
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