Pulmonary edema is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs that can cause difficulty breathing and other serious health issues. This can be caused by underlying medical conditions like congestive heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, liver failure, pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause; this may include medications to reduce fluid build-up or oxygen therapy to help clear airways.
Symptoms of pulmonary edema include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, an increase in heart rate and respirations, wheezing or coughing that produces pink, frothy sputum, chest pain that worsens with deep breaths or coughing and fatigue. These symptoms typically worsen over time as the fluid buildup in the lungs increases.
While there is no cure for pulmonary edema, its symptoms can be managed and treated with the help of medications and therapies. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause, but typically includes diuretics to reduce fluid buildup in the lungs, oxygen therapy to help clear airways and bronchodilators to improve air flow. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any defects that are causing the edema.