Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolisms (PE) are a common problem, especially for travelers. If you are not aware of what they are, a simple understanding of them can go a long way. Those with a high risk of blood clots should be aware of these, as it can affect them personally.

Even if you are not at high risk, it is still beneficial to understand the severity of a pulmonary embolism, as it is still possible to develop these without first developing deep vein thrombosis.

What are Pulmonary Embolisms?

A pulmonary embolism happens when one or more blood clots detach from the vein and eventually end up in the lung. Once in the lung, the blood clot can block the lung’s ability to allow oxygen to travel to the blood.

It strains the heart and can lead to heart failure if the pulmonary embolism is severe enough and not treated quickly by a doctor. If it goes unnoticed, these can be fatal.

Warning Signs of PE

It is essential to note the symptoms of PE to catch it in time. If you have developed a PE, you will most likely experience shortness of breath. The embolism will also cause chest pain that will worsen with time.

An irregular heartbeat, along with lightheadedness or dizziness, can also occur due to the strain on the heart if the pulmonary embolism develops enough. If you notice that your skin is clammy or discolored, this is a good indication of PE. Coughing and excessive sweating will occur, as well. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are easier to catch if you stay in tune with your health.

When to Talk to a Doctor

If you or someone you know are at higher risk for developing blood clots, it may be worth it to schedule an appointment with your doctor regularly to check up on your health. This warning is especially true if you are planning on traveling for long distances anytime soon. Typical times to be concerned vary from person to person.

Still, if the above symptoms begin to occur, it is best to seek medical help immediately to find out if there are any significant concerns to your health.

If you become concerned that you may have a pulmonary embolism and you are planning on traveling soon, talking to your doctor as quickly as possible will help to ease any fears (and begin to discuss any treatments) quickly.

Read also: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Healthy Lung Month

Should You Be Concerned about Traveling with PE? 

Often, traveling can increase and worsen your PE due to the immobility of flying or riding in cars for extended periods.

However, traveling is not impossible when you have PE. The first thing to be aware of is the signs and symptoms of blood clots. If you know these, it will be much easier to identify whether or not your PE is worsening during your travel.

If you are traveling for long periods, getting up and walking around every two to three hours is hugely beneficial, as it increases blood flow in the legs, which is a common area of PE.

Of course, talking to your doctor about personalized preventative measures always provides for a less stressful and more enjoyable time during your travels.

What Your Doctor Can Do 

For more severe cases of PE, your doctor will be able to help you find treatments. Some doctors will provide a treatment plan that caters toward a therapy session to ensure that blood flow increases to lower the risk of blood clots. Often, a blood thinner will be prescribed to you to prevent any blood clots from reoccurring.

Stay Alert 

Traveling with a pulmonary embolism may be stressful and worrisome, but there are plenty of ways to keep tabs on your body as you go through your trip. Taking preemptive measures before your doctor diagnoses your PE is always a plus, but often that is not the case.

Ensure lots of movement and always consult your doctor before you begin to take new medications. Additionally, if you are worried about travel, make an appointment for a second (and professional) opinion.

About The Author:

Rebecca Stuart is a part-time freelance writer and a full-time lover of healthy lifestyle living. She is passionate about fitness and spends her free time working out and finding new recipes to try.

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