How Pulmonary Edema Affects the Body

How Pulmonary Edema Affects the Body
How Pulmonary Edema Affects the Body

After a steep mountain climb, your friend’s lungs are making bubbling noises every time she exhales. She most likely has?

• High Altitude Asthma
• High Altitude Pneumonia
• Head/Chest Cold
• Pulmonary Edema

Answer: Pulmonary Edema

A person climbing in high altitudes can develop pulmonary edema. One of the symptoms is the lungs making bubbling noises when they exhale. Here’s why…

Every year, thousands of people gear up and set out to climb their first mountain. Whether it’s to accomplish a goal or just for the fun of it, climbing enthusiasts can’t get enough.


It’s no surprise that climbing is dangerous. Mountains are a part of nature, and nature cannot be tamed. But the human spirit will always want more, will always push for more. Climbing is an adventure that can help quench a thrill seeker’s thirst.

One of the hidden dangers that comes from climbing high altitudes is developing pulmonary edema. In the mountain climbing world, this is known as high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).

Even the most experienced climbers, hikers, and skiers are susceptible to developing pulmonary edema. The condition generally occurs at elevations above 8,000 feet.

HAPE occurs when there’s increased pressure from the constriction of the pulmonary arteries. If you don’t seek immediate medical attention, this condition can turn fatal very quickly.


What are Some Symptoms of HAPE?
Some signs to look for, or be aware of, are: headaches (especially early on in the hike), constant coughing, shortness of breath (especially at rest), fever, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, chest pains, and difficulty walking or climbing.

HAPE can be developed by even the most experienced climbers. The best thing to do is know the signs and prepare for high altitude activities by acclimatizing for a few weeks before pushing hard.

Set your goals and accomplish your dreams of climbing a mountain. Just do it safely and be prepared.

~Here’s to Your Survival!


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