Pulmonary Edema and Aging Can Be Connected

Pulmonary edema and aging, is there any real connection to this challenging and potentially deadly condition?

The answer is yes for several reasons, and most of them will involve our heart.

However, it can and does affect all ages, especially the high altitude form, but even this form is more dangerous as we get older.

In our younger years we all had or heard of a relative or friend of our parents that could no longer live comfortably in higher elevations.

This is one of the major reasons why.

In fact, it is the reason the southeast and southwest areas of the United States has become so popular for people our age—the lower altitudes.

The Connections With Pulmonary Edema and Aging

So what is the connection with pulmonary edema and aging, and what exactly is it?

This condition is the result of excess fluid that has entered into our lungs, and once there, it attacks our air sacs.

Once it is in our air sacs, just like COPD and various forms of pneumonia, it can become difficult to breathe.

It this attack hits us very rapidly, unlike any of the other conditions, it has become a life threatening situation.

In the majority of cases, it is some type of heart problem we are experiencing that triggers it, but there can and are other potential causes.

They include the following.

  • Pneumonia can easily trigger it
  • Some toxins and medications can trigger it
  • Some type of injury to our chest area
  • High altitudes.

There are several different symptoms that will surface with this condition, and they can be dramatically different depending on the type we have.

The Three Different Types

There are three different types for us to understand in the possible connection with pulmonary edema and aging.

They include the following.

  • The sudden or acute form—by far and away the most dangerous
  • The Long term form-the most common
  • The high altitude form

The sudden or acute form will attack us very rapidly and we will begin to have extreme shortness of breath.

Our first reaction will be to lie down and rest, but this will only worsen the sensation. At this point, it will feel like we cannot breathe and may be drowning.

We may also begin to cough and spit up mucus that is frosty in nature, and will be red or pink in color.

At this point, it is an emergency situation and if we do not seek immediate medical care, we may not survive.

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The Long Term Form Is Much More Common

The long term or chronic form is much more common and this is where the connection with pulmonary edema and aging really begins to emerge.

Here are the symptoms of the chronic form.

  • A slow developing shortness of breath with simple forms of exercising
  • This shortness intensifies when doing anything strenuous
  • We are beginning to have some issues with breathing when laying down
  • A sudden weight gain for no apparent reason
  • Swelling in your legs

With this form, the sudden weight gain and difficulty in breathing all centers on the fluid that is building up in our bodies.

The high altitude form begins to surface if we live in a higher altitude.

We may have visited or lived there for years with no issues, but suddenly it is getting difficult for us.

Here are the symptoms with this form.

  • The development of headaches that won’t go way
  • A sudden difficulty in walking up any type of hill
  • A slow developing shortness of breath
  • A sudden cough accompanied by mucus that may be pink or red.

The real and first warning sign with this form is the headaches that will not go away.

You Can Get Rid of The Headaches

In fact, in the vast majority of cases, the only way we will ever really get rid of these headaches, is to move to a lower elevation.

Once we have, they will go away as well as most of the other symptoms.

While there may be other potential causes, by far and away the single biggest cause with pulmonary edema and aging is our heart.

This amazing organ has allowed us to live for several years, but there are certain conditions that can and will affect it.

If everything is normal, every time we breathe, our air sacs in our lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, allowing the oxygen to enter into our blood stream.

But if this process is interrupted by fluid, oxygen is not being absorbed into our blood stream.

Here are the conditions with our hearts that can affect this process and trigger this condition.

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve issues
  • Hypertension—high blood pressure.

Coronary artery diseases as well as cardiomyopathy are very common as we get older, as are heart valve issues.

High Blood Pressure

However, perhaps our biggest concern with pulmonary edema and aging is high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, if left untreated, can easily damage our arteries in our heart and trigger this condition.

There are also several non-heart related conditions that can also trigger it and they include the following.

  • A nervous system injury such as a head injury
  • Blood clots that can lead to pulmonary embolism
  • Drug reactions to heroin or cocaine
  • Some type of a lung injury like a punctured lung
  • Inhaling smoke from a fire

The good news is that there are several very effective treatments that can help control this beast.

They include the following.

  • Diuretics, which help to eliminate fluids
  • Morphine to help relieve the shortness of breath
  • Blood pressure medication

As we all get older, the connection with pulmonary edema and aging grows every year.

The best thing we can do is to try to control our blood pressure the best that we can.  However, the second best thing we can do, is to understand the symptoms.



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