Q:

Why does fluid build up in lungs?

A:

Quick Answer

Fluids build up in the lungs due to toxin exposure, certain medications, heart problems and other serious medical conditions, according to the New Health Guide. Fluid in the lungs, called pulmonary edema, can result in a life-threatening condition. With pulmonary edema, the abnormal build up of fluid in the small air sacs of the lungs interferes with air flow.

Know More

Full Answer

The lungs contain 300 million air sacs, called alveoli. These tiny air sacs absorb oxygen when a person inhales and release carbon dioxide when a person exhales, according to the New Health Guide. When fluid fills the lungs, it becomes trapped in the alveoli and causes difficulties in breathing.

Numerous health problems cause fluid in the lungs, including cardiac problems. The New Health Guide lists coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, heart valve issues and high blood pressure as common cardiac causes. When the heart fails to work properly, it affects the lungs. Coronary artery disease can weaken the heart so that it does not pump blood as hard as it should. The reduced blood flow causes the blood to back up into the lungs, and the fluid in the blood passes into the air sacs. This results in pulmonary edema. Non-cardiac causes include pneumonia, toxins exposure, kidney disease, smoke inhalation and medication reaction, as well as, living at high elevations and other types of lung infections.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the symptoms of air pockets in the lungs?

    A:

    The major symptoms of air pockets in the lungs are shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, according to WebMD. Air trapped in these air pockets make it difficult to breathe out, which makes the lungs and diaphragm work harder, and breathing becomes increasingly difficult with advanced emphysema.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What membrane covers the lungs?

    A:

    The pleura is the membrane that covers the lungs, according to InnerBody. The pleura consists of two layers, with the parietal pleura forming the membrane's outer layer and the visceral pleura forming the membrane's inner layer.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where is the heart located in the human body?

    A:

    The heart is the muscular organ situated in between the lungs, behind the sternum and slightly tilted towards the left side of the breastbone. Rhythmic muscular contractions activate the heart to pump blood through a system of arteries and veins called the cardiovascular system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do alveoli have a large surface area?

    A:

    Alveoli have a large surface area in order to rapidly exchange gases, which is the primary function of the lungs. There are approximately 300 million alveoli found inside the lungs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore