Is Fluid In The Lungs The Same As Congestive Heart Failure?

Fluid in the lungs and congestive heart failure are two different conditions, but congestive heart failure is one of the most common reasons for the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. The accumulation of fluid in the lungs is medically known as pleural effusion of pulmonary edema.

Congestive heart failure and certain types of cancer are the most common causes of pleural effusion or pulmonary edema. Lungs and breast cancer are the most common cause of the same. Apart from congestive heart failure and cancers there are other medical conditions which give rise to pulmonary edema or pleural effusion. These conditions are:

Is Fluid In The Lungs The Same As Congestive Heart Failure?

How Pulmonary Edema Happens in Case of Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive Heart failure gives rise to pulmonary edema. The initial stage of congestive heart failure may not be that problematic for lungs, but when the heart is unable to pump blood properly and insufficiently to the whole part of the body for a long term, the blood starts backing up in the veins which carry blood through the lungs. With the increase in the pressure, the blood in these vessels leak and the fluid is pushed in the alveoli or the air sacs of the lungs. As the heart failure worsens and slowly fluid starts accumulating in lungs. The fluid accumulates in the other parts of the body and produces edema especially in the legs, ankles and feet.

To prevent pulmonary edema, it is important to check, diagnose and correct the congestive heart failure diseases, if it is present. Below are few symptoms which are indicative of a Congestive Heart Failure:

  • Impaired thinking, delirium and confusion.
  • Dyspnea i.e. breathlessness.
  • Wheezing or constant coughing.
  • Tachycardia and palpitations.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Tiredness, fatigue.

If these occur, it is important to get it diagnosed and treated on proper time or else it can be fatal in the near future. Fortunately there are improvements and advancements in the treatment of congestive heart failure, but only 50% of the patients will have an average expectancy of about five years or less. Those who have serious CHF have more risk of life and 90% of patients may die within one year.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Pleural Effusion

The pleural effusion might show symptoms like dry cough, chest pain, fever, breathlessness, persistent hiccups etc. if one or more symptoms occur repeatedly, there should be an immediate diagnosis of the chest. The medical practitioner will perform a physical analysis and listen to the activity of lungs with the help of a stethoscope. A chest X-ray might also be done along with the following procedures:

The pleural effusion can be complicated or uncomplicated type. The uncomplicated pleural effusions don’t have any visible signs and symptoms and are not likely to cause permanent lung problem. The fluid in uncomplicated type may not be infective and may not cause inflammation. The complicated pleural type may contain fluid along with severe infection or inflammation. They require immediate attention and chest drainage. However, both the types require proper treatment. The fluid is removed carefully from the pleural membrane. A needle is inserted into the chest cavity and the fluid is sucked using a syringe. This procedure is known as Thoracocentesis.

When the thin membrane pleura, which is a protective covering of the lungs get too much infected or aggravated, it starts retaining fluid which gets accumulated in the chest cavity present outside the lungs, this condition is known as pleural effusion or pulmonary edema. There is always a small amount of fluid within the pleura which acts a lubricant during the expansion and contraction of lungs during breathing, but when the fluid exceeds its normal limit, numerous complications arise.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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