Symptoms of acute, or sudden, pulmonary edema include fast, irregular heartbeat; cough with blood; anxiety; panting; or a suffocating sensation, according to Mayo Clinic. Another symptom of acute pulmonary edema is breathing trouble, particularly when lying down. Individuals with heart disease tend to experience chest pain as well.
The symptoms of pulmonary edema manifest unexpectedly or develop gradually, depending on the underlying cause, states Mayo Clinic. Anyone who experiences acute pulmonary edema symptoms should seek prompt medical care, as pulmonary edema can be life-threatening. Symptoms of long-term pulmonary edema include wheezing, breathing trouble while lying down or exerting force; shortness of breath when doing strenuous activities; fatigue; or swelling in lower extremities. People with congestive heart failure may notice fast weight gain, which results from fluid accumulation in the body, particularly in the legs.
High-altitude pulmonary edema often causes a fever, struggle in walking uphill, cough with or without blood or shortness of breath from physical strain, explains Mayo Clinic. Headache is often the initial symptom in people suffering this type of edema. Palpitations and chest discomfort are other possible symptoms. Pulmonary edema occurs due to extra fluid in the air sacs in the lungs, leading to breathing difficulty. Most people develop pulmonary edema due to heart problems. General treatment for the condition includes medications and supplemental oxygen.