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What is pulmonary edema?

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Pulmonary edema means you have fluid building up in your lungs. When you take a breath, your lungs fill with fluid instead of air, so oxygen can't get from the lungs into the blood where it's needed.

It can be acute (comes on suddenly) or chronic (happens over time). Some of the symptoms are different, but you'll always have trouble breathing.

Pulmonary edema is usually, but not always, caused by a problem with the heart.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Pulmonary Edema."

American Heart Association: "Types of Heart Failure."

Up to Date: "Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema."

Medscape: "Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema Treatment & Management."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on April 30, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Pulmonary Edema."

American Heart Association: "Types of Heart Failure."

Up to Date: "Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema."

Medscape: "Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema Treatment & Management."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on April 30, 2020

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What is acute pulmonary edema?

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