Why Does Fluid Build Up in Lungs

Pulmonary edema is present when there is fluid accumulation in the lungs.  The fluid accumulated within the layers of the tissues that line the lungs and the chest cavity, resulting gas exchange was affected and eventually led to respiratory failure.  This is only because the heart does not work well to remove the fluids from the lungs circulation.  This is described as cardiogenic pulmonary edema.  Fluid accumulation in the lungs also causes some direct injury to the lung parenchyma.  This is described as noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.

Causes of Fluid Build Up in the Lungs

For lubrication of the surfaces of the pleura the human body produces a small amount of pleura liquid.  Pleura pass on to the thin tissue that surrounds the lungs and lines the chest cavity.  When there is an abnormal or excessive amount of this fluid is present, it cause pleural effusion.

Fluid Build Why Does Fluid Build Up in Lungs

Transudative pleural effusions:  If blood pressure increase in the vessels or their protein content is low, it causes transudative effusions.  The congestive heart failure is the most common cause for this condition.  The heart attacks or abnormal heart valves also cause an abnormal accumulation of blood in the lungs’ blood vessels.  This in turn can lead to the too much fluid build up in the alveoli, which affect the gaseous exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Exudative pleural effusions: Some common causes of exudative pleural effusions are :-

  • Lungs injury
  • Toxin inhalation
  • bacterial pneumonia
  • drug reaction
  • blood vessels blockage
  • kidney failure or kidney diseases
  • cancer
  • pulmonary embolism
  • viral infection

Symptoms of Fluid Build Up in the Lungs

The fluid build up symptoms in the lungs include:

  • coughing which may produce bloody or frothy sputum
  • excessive sweating
  • paleness
  • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • If the cause is related to cardiac conditions, the patient may suffer from palpitations or chest pain.
  • anxiety and restlessness
  • Feeling of being deprived of ‘air’ or ‘drowning’. This might happen while the patient is sleeping and suddenly gets up and tries to catch the breathing.  This is known as paroxymal nocturnal dyspnea.
  • Weakness, fatigue or dizziness

Treatment for Fluid Build Up in the Lungs

The remedy for pulmonary edema depends upon the cause of the condition.  Depending on the acuteness of the condition, the doctor may admit the patient to either hospitalize the patient or treat the patient as an outpatient by prescribing oral medications.  If the cause of the pulmonary edema is related to the heart, then suitable medicines are given to stabilize the heart.  The suitable medications may be prescribed to strengthen the muscles of the heart, regulate its rhythm or to control its pressure.  Water pills or diuretics may be given to reduce the body excess fluids.

If the oxygen level in the blood becomes too low then the patient may be given oxygen supplementation.  If the patient has noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, the treatment will be advised according to the cause.  For example, if the source is related to kidney failure or kidney disease, the doctor may take the necessary steps to address these issues. Similarly, antibiotics will be given to the patient to deal with infections if the cause of the fluid retention is due to an infection.

There may be several complications that can arise due to pulmonary edema, which may be severe oxygen deprivation to different organs of the body such as the brain.  In this condition the patient may require a breathing machine.

Preventing Fluid Build Up in the Lungs

The doctor advised is important for a patient who has developed pulmonary edema.  So, it is very important for every person that he may adopt healthy activities such as sports or regular exercise habits in life.  Annual or six monthly regular checkups may also be helpful to identify the possible disease in time.

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