More than a million Americans are diagnosed with pulmonary edema each year, yet many people don’t know what the condition is or whether they’re at risk for it. At Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center in Warner Robins, Georgia, Dr. Allison Burkett provides state-of-the-art, patient-centered treatment aimed at preventing serious consequences.
Here’s what you should know about pulmonary edema and how to tell if you might be at risk.
Edema is a condition that develops when fluid gets trapped inside your tissues. In pulmonary edema, fluid gets trapped in tiny air sacs inside your lungs, interfering with breathing and making it hard for your organs to get the oxygen they need.
Pulmonary edema can develop over time, or it can happen quickly (called acute pulmonary edema). In either case, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid serious problems and even death.
Both acute and chronic pulmonary edema can cause symptoms like:
Acute pulmonary edema may also cause:
Acute pulmonary edema is a medical emergency. If you have these symptoms, you should call 9-1-1 right away.
Most pulmonary edema is caused by an underlying problem with your heart (usually congestive heart failure). This type of pulmonary edema is called cardiogenic pulmonary edema. When pulmonary edema isn’t related to a heart condition, it’s called non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema.
In addition to heart-related causes, other common risk factors for pulmonary edema include:
That’s a lot of risk factors. The most important thing to remember is to schedule an evaluation if you have any symptoms of pulmonary edema and to make sure you provide Dr. Burkett with a complete medical history to help identify potential issues that could increase your risk.
Pulmonary edema can be treated, but getting prompt medical care is the key to achieving optimal results. If you have symptoms of pulmonary edema, or if you have risk factors and want to learn how to avoid more serious problems, Dr. Burkett can help.