Cardiac Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling. Edema happens when your small blood vessels (arteries and veins) leak fluid into nearby tissues. Doing so creates an excess amount of fluid. As the fluid builds up, the nearby tissues respond by swelling. Cardiac edema occurs when the heart’s diseased or overworked left ventricle (heart’s lower chamber) isn't able to pump out enough of the blood it receives from your lungs. This causes the heart to hold an excess amount of fluid; therefore, swelling.

Cardiac Edema

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Causes of Cardiac Edema

Although cardiac edema is caused by many different reasons, some of the most common causes include:

Symptoms of Cardiac Edema

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of cardiac edema include:

  • Difficulty breathing when lying flat
  • Extreme shortness of breath
  • Swelling in your lower extremities
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of suffocating or drowning
  • Rapid weight gain

Diagnosis of Cardiac Edema

To understand what might be causing your cardiac edema, your doctor will first perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your medical history. After that, you may have:

Diagnostic tests and procedures

Treatment of Cardiac Edema

Treatment of cardiac edema has several options, most noticeable the lifestyle changes; however, medications can also help reduce signs and symptoms. Treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Exercise under the directions of your doctor.
  • No more than 7-8 hours of sleep per day.
  • If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about weight-loss options.
  • Manage stress
  • Weigh in every morning before breakfast and record it in a diary that can be shown to a health care provider.
  • Make and keep appointments to see your doctor for routine check-ups and follow-up tests.

Medications

  • Diuretics “water pills” will help reduce the amount of fluid retention in your body.
  • Beta blockers will help reduce your blood pressure.
  • Heart rate medications will help regulate your heartbeat.


Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
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Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Clara Maass Medical Center
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Belleville, NJ 07109
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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Cardiac Edema Treatment & Care

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