Table of contents:
- Symptoms of water in the lungs
- How to confirm the diagnosis
- Causes of water in the lungs
- How the treatment is done
Lung water is a he alth problem scientifically known as pulmonary edema, which happens when the alveoli in the lungs become filled with fluid, due to other diseases not treated properly such as heart failure or respiratory infections, for example.
Since excess fluid in the lungs makes breathing difficult and reduces the entry of oxygen into the body, water in the lungs can be life-threatening, so it is advisable to go quickly to the emergency room when they arise. symptoms such as severe breathing difficulties, wheezing or persistent coughing up of blood.
Lung water is curable, however, treatment should be started as soon as possible to prevent oxygen levels in the body from dropping too low and putting life at risk. Understand how the treatment of water in the lungs is done.
Symptoms of water in the lungs
The main symptoms of water in the lungs are:
- Difficulty breathing, worse when lying down;
- Sensation of suffocation or drowning;
- Intense wheezing when breathing;
- Cough with secretion that may contain blood;
- Intense chest pain;
- Very easy fatigue;
- Swelling of the legs or feet.
When more than one of these symptoms appear, it is advisable to call for medical help, calling 192, or go immediately to the emergency room of a hospital, to have a chest X-ray, confirm the diagnosis and start quickly. the treatment.
Is lung water serious?
Lung water can put a person's life at risk if not identified and treated quickly, especially when symptoms appear suddenly.When there is pulmonary edema, gas exchange in the lungs does not happen efficiently, decreasing the body's oxygen levels, which can lead to death.
How to confirm the diagnosis
In most cases, to confirm the diagnosis of pulmonary edema, the doctor analyzes the signs and symptoms, as well as the history of previous illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes or heart attack. The physical examination is extremely important to arrive at the diagnosis, and during this examination the doctor should auscultate the chest, look for swelling in the legs and assess blood pressure.
In addition, an X-ray, electrocardiogram, or echocardiogram may still be necessary to determine the cause of the water in the lung.
Causes of water in the lungs
The most common cases of water in the lung occur when there is a cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease, heart failure or high blood pressure, as the heart can stop working properly, causing a buildup of blood in the lung and making it difficult to enter of air.
However, there are other situations that can cause the accumulation of liquids such as:
- Adult respiratory distress syndrome;
- Ascend to altitudes above 2400 meters, like climbing a mountain;
- Nervous system problems such as head trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or seizure;
- Virus infections in the lungs;
- Smoke inhalation;
- Near drowning, especially when water was inhaled.
The problem of water in the lungs is more frequent in the elderly, as they present more he alth changes, but it can also happen in young people or even in children with congenital heart disease. Learn more about the causes of water in the lungs.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for water in the lung should be done while in the hospital and usually starts with the administration of oxygen through a mask to relieve symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a feeling of drowning and wheezing.In addition, some remedies can be used to eliminate excess liquid such as:
- Diuretic medicines, such as furosemide: help eliminate excess fluids from the body through urine;
- Heart remedies, such as nitroglycerin: relieves pressure on the arteries of the heart, improving their functioning and preventing the accumulation of blood in the lungs;
- Morphine: is used to relieve severe shortness of breath or severe chest pain;
- Rapid-response high blood pressure medications, such as nitroglycerin: reduce blood pressure, facilitating the heart's work and preventing fluid accumulation.
Due to the effect of drugs to eliminate excess fluid, the doctor may recommend using a bladder catheter to quantify the amount of urine that is being eliminated after using the diuretic. See how to properly care for the urinary catheter to avoid infections.
When treatment for water in the lung is not performed, some signs of worsening may appear, including worsening of symptoms, such as a feeling of drowning, purple extremities, fainting and, in the most severe cases, respiratory arrest.