The accumulation of fluid in the lung happens when you have a problem with the cardiovascular system, such as heart failure, but it can also occur when there is an injury to the lung due to infections or exposure to toxins, for example.
The water in the lung, known scientifically as pulmonary edema, occurs when the lungs are filled with fluid, which interferes with breathing, as it prevents oxygen from entering and leaving carbon dioxide. Here’s how to know if it’s water in your lungs.
1. Cardiovascular problems
When diseases of the cardiovascular system are not treated properly they can cause an excessive increase in pressure within the heart, preventing blood from being pumped properly.
When this happens, the blood accumulates around the lungs and increases the pressure inside the vessels in that region, causing the liquid, which is part of the blood, to be pushed into the lungs, occupying a space that should only be filled with air.
Some of the cardiovascular diseases that most commonly cause this change include:
- Coronary heart disease: this disease causes the arteries of the heart to narrow, which weakens the heart muscle, decreasing its ability to pump blood;
- Cardiomyopathy: in this problem, the cardiac muscle weakens without having a cause related to blood flow, as in the case of coronary disease;
- Heart valve problems: when the valves fail to close completely or open properly, the strength of the heart can push excess blood into the lungs;
- High blood pressure: this disease makes it difficult for the heart to function, which needs to make a lot of effort to pump blood. Over time, the heart may lose the necessary strength, leading to the accumulation of blood in the lungs.
In addition, other conditions, such as kidney problems, can also increase blood pressure and hinder the work of the heart, leading to a case of pulmonary edema, when they are not treated properly.
2. Lung infections
Some lung infections caused by viruses, such as Hantavirus or Dengue virus, can cause changes in the pressure of the blood vessels in the lungs, causing the accumulation of fluid.
3. Exposure to toxins or smoke
When toxins, such as ammonia or chlorine, or cigarette smoke, are breathed in, the lung tissues can become very irritated and inflamed, producing fluid that occupies the space inside the lungs.
In addition, when the inflammation is very severe, injuries to the lungs and surrounding small blood vessels can occur, allowing fluid to enter.
In situations of near drowning, the lungs are filled with water that is sucked in through the nose or mouth, accumulating inside the lungs. In these cases, although much of the water has been removed with rescue maneuvers, pulmonary edema can be maintained, needing to be treated at the hospital.
5. High altitudes
People who go mountain climbing or climbing have a higher risk of developing pulmonary edema, because when they are at altitudes above 2400 meters, blood vessels experience an increase in pressure, which can favor the entry of fluid into the lungs, especially in people who are beginners in this type of sport.
What to do
If there are signs that water accumulates in the lungs, it is important that the doctor is consulted so that tests can be done to identify the cause of the accumulation of fluid in the lungs and that appropriate treatment can be indicated according to the amount of accumulated fluids. and oxygen levels.
In this way, it is possible to prevent more liquid from accumulating in the lungs and compromising the circulation of oxygen throughout the body. The use of oxygen masks is indicated for this purpose, in addition to the use of diuretic drugs to promote the elimination of liquids that are in excess in the body. Understand how the treatment for water in the lungs is done.