When the air sacs in the lungs get inflamed due to the accumulation of fluid, this condition is called pulmonary edema or fluid in lungs. Lungs, being the important organ of our body are responsible for the vital function of respiration. The oxygen that is taken in is absorbed by the air sacs or alveoli and is passed into the bloodstream. Hence for having normal breathing function, the alveoli of the lungs should perform well. There may be problems in respiration when the air sacs are filled with fluids.
When the lungs get infected, fluid particles can collect in the air sacs. If the person has underlying heart problems, then pulmonary edema can develop. Heart absorbs oxygenated blood from the pulmonary veins normally which in turn is sent through aortic artery to all parts of the body. When heart becomes ineffective to absorb oxygenated blood fully, it may cause back pressure in the pulmonary veins. Because of this action, the veins will start leaking blood which then enters alveoli. Hence people who suffer from congestive heart problem may have chance to develop pulmonary edema.
Sometimes, the bacteria finds entry into the lungs invades the alveoli causing infection called pneumonia. The air sacs get flooded with pus and fluid which in turn affects the oxygen flow causing shortness of breath.
People who are exposed to poisonous gases and huge density of smoke can get their lungs affected causing fluid filled lungs. People who have abnormal functions of kidney also have chances to get fluid in lungs.
Lastly, people who are climbing high altitudes may suffocate due to rise in pressure and lack of oxygen. This can affect the lung tissues causing fluid accumulation.
Shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and excess of sweat, weakness, respiratory problem, cough, restlessness and grunting are some of the symptoms of fluid filled lungs. The affected person may feel it difficult to breathe when lying down and he may have grunting or wheezing sound while breathing. The above symptoms indicate some problem with lungs and the person should be taken to hospital immediately. If the treatment is delayed, it may develop symptoms like coughing up with blood, change of color of skin, abnormal heart beat and gasping for breath.
Your doctor may observe for abnormal heart sound, rapid breathing or change in color of skin (blue skin) indicating breathlessness. Further he may also perform chest X-ray, blood oxygen level and echo test.
The underlying cause of the problem is to be identified first before giving treatment. Your doctor will look for the symptoms above and check for heart problems or lung infection.
Firstly, the patient should be stabilized by giving oxygen supply through face mask, so that he can breathe properly. Intravenous fluids are started and medicines like diuretics and morphine are given. Nitroglycerin is also administered to reduce the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. If necessary the patient should be put on ventilator machine.
Unnecessary delay in the treatment can lead to congestive heart failure which may be fatal. The affected person should follow the instructions of the doctor by taking right set of medicines and treatment.
Fluid in The Lungs Pictures :
Monitor your weight regularly and eat only balanced diet. Avoid drinking and smoking and control your blood pressure. Do exercise daily.