10 Causes Of Fluid In The Lungs

Fluid accumulation in the lungs is medically termed as pulmonary edema or pleural effusion. Normally, the human lungs contain fluid for lubrication of their membranes. However, in excessive amounts, the lungs can start to swell and deteriorate, causing a poor distribution of oxygen in the body which can be a trigger for other comorbidities.

There are many causes of fluid buildup in the lungs. Usually, it’s a side effect of an underlying medical condition. Swelling of the lungs is caused by too much pressure on the blood vessels or not enough binding proteins in the blood, making fluids leak into the lungs’ tiny air sac units called alveoli. When excess fluid leaks out of the blood vessels and into the alveoli, this causes the swelling called edema.

Cause #1: Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both lungs that can be caused by bacteria, virus, or fungus which the immune system couldn’t fight off. This type of infection inflames the alveoli due to a buildup of fluid or pus. Pneumonia can be caused by chronic disease, history of smoking, a weak immune system, or it can be acquired in the hospital (hospital/healthcare-acquired pneumonia). Fluid in the lungs due to pneumonia can cause difficulty in breathing, coughing up phlegm, pain in the chest, and signs of infection such as fever and chills.

Causes of Fluid in the Lungs

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