One of the most severe conditions a person can get pulmonary embolism is a condition where blood clots form and block the lungs. This can result in serious breathing issues and even death. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to prevent this from happening. If you follow these guidelines, you will relax knowing that this dangerous condition has been prevented from developing into something worse. 

What Is Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism can be a life-threatening medical emergency that occurs when a clot in another part of your body (often the leg or arm) moves through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in those delicate vessels high up in your lungs. This restricts blood flow to the said organ, lowers oxygen levels within them, and raises pressure on those arteries right next door-the ones carrying off all these extra fluids from around our heart onto other parts just waiting their turn again!

Causes of Pulmonary Embolism

Blood clots are a standard process to prevent bleeding. The body makes blood clumps and then breaks them down, so you don’t lose too much of your precious fluids or suffer from serious health problems like anemia if there isn’t enough red cell production because it’s slowing us down!

Clots are dangerous blood clumps that can form in your veins and travel to other areas of the body, including near or far from where they started. One of the most common places for a clot is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when there’s too much pressure on one side due to an obstruction such as narrowing caused by pregnancy hormones. This leads to it being forced into another sectional area with less resistance against movement while traveling through an increasingly thinner fluid). At the same time, these might not seem like severe conditions at first glance. However, if left untreated, it could lead to a pulmonary embolism—a condition marked by severe breathing problems caused directly by some part detached during the rip-roaring journey or by an excessive build-up of pressure within the lungs caused by a blockage.

The following are some of the less common causes:

  • A fat embolism (as a result of a huge bone-shattering)
  • Air bubbles
  • Clots that break off from an indwelling within a vein catheter and go to the lungs
  • Embolism of amniotic fluid
  • Thrombosis of the deep veins of the upper body

Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism

Sometimes people with pulmonary embolisms don’t experience any symptoms. If this is the case, the first signs will be shortness of breath and chest pains that worsen when you exert yourself. You may cough up bloody sputum due to clots blocking your lungs’ air supply, so it’s essential for those who think they have these signs or know someone who does to see a doctor right away! Some of the other symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly, whether you’ve been active or not.
  • Coughing up bloody sputum.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Anxiety, light-headedness, faintness, or passing out have all been reported in some cases.
  • Sharp pain in the chest, arm, shoulder, neck, or jaw that you can’t explain. The discomfort could potentially be mistaken for symptoms of a heart attack.
  • The skin turns pale, clammy, or bluish.
  • Sweating profusely

Preventing Pulmonary Embolism

You can prevent pulmonary embolism by being more aware of your surroundings and paying particular attention to the earlier warning signs. If you have a risk factor for developing clots, your doctor may recommend activity restriction or possibly even the use of anticoagulation medication on an as-needed basis. You need to know what predisposes you or someone else to pulmonary embolism so you can anticipate the development of early symptoms and stay vigilant for them!

Here are some ways that pulmonary embolism can be prevented:

  • Rest is necessary for the body, but it’s also good to get your blood moving. Engaging in physical activity can be one way of doing this! Exercising regularly will help ensure you don’t lose muscle tone and strength while recovering from an injury or illness like bed rest. Movement helps keep muscles strong by exercising safely without putting unnecessary stress on joints through overdoing things at once (and risking pain). Exercise can also help you maintain your ideal body weight and avoid excessive fat accumulation that could contribute to future problems.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, like water and juice. But if you need a break from the refreshing taste in your mouth every time, avoid excess alcohol or caffeine, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration increases the risk of a clot forming. In case you are on a diet, make sure to eat a balanced amount of food and drink more water instead of taking in caffeine or alcohol, which will flush it out of your body faster. Avoid long stints of sitting for extended periods as well—if you can stand or walk around every 20 minutes, that’s even better!
  • Activity is the key to staying healthy and active. If you plan on sitting still for an extended period, get up every hour or so and do simple exercises like standing on tiptoe or bending your knees while walking instead of hunching over at a desk all day. You can also try doing stretches for squats to keep your blood flowing. It’s never good for the heart to sit still, so try getting up every 20 minutes and walking around, even just for a minute.
  • Smoking is another known cause that can potentially lead to the development of pulmonary embolism. If you smoke, now’s a good time to stop! This harmful habit has also been known to thicken the blood and increase the risk of blood clots. You’ll be doing your body a favor by giving up vaping or using an e-cigarette instead. Smoking puts your life at risk in just the same way that doing drugs does, so if you’re having trouble quitting, try talking to a doctor about it or looking into other tools like nicotine patches or gum that can help you quit while reducing withdrawal symptoms.
  • Cross your legs as little as possible. For some, this may be a difficult habit to break. But it’s essential to stop crossing your legs and point them downward instead. This will ensure the blood flows properly and avoid unnecessary pressure on the area where your leg meets your torso!
  • Avoid wearing anything too tight. This includes socks and underwear, which you should make sure to replace regularly. Clothing that is too tight can lead to discomfort or pain when worn for an extended period. If it’s too tight, the muscles are constricted, blood has a more challenging time flowing through, and veins are more vulnerable to damage if they’re constantly being pressed against.
  • If you are overweight, you should lose weight. It’s possible to be at a healthy weight and have high cholesterol, two factors that can put you at risk for developing a pulmonary embolism. But if your body mass index is over 30, it may benefit you to lose weight. If you are overweight or obese, being proactive about losing weight can help prevent associated complications from arising down the line!
  • Do not take birth control pills that contain estrogen. Though some women believe this option is safer, doctors advise against it because estrogen can help prevent heart disease and other conditions. Instead, talk to your doctor about alternative forms of contraception that are just as effective!
  • Lift your feet twice a day for 30 minutes. A pulmonary embolism or other clotting conditions can be relieved by warming up your feet and massaging them regularly. When doing this exercise, make sure not to apply too much pressure—you want this to feel good! Flip your foot over and rub the top as well as the arches with your thumbs. You can also roll your foot over a tennis ball to get the same effect.
  • Consult your doctor about ways to lower your risk factors, especially if you or a family member have had a blood clot. These conditions can pose serious risks and should be treated as such. Keep in mind that you can lower your risk of developing venous thromboembolism by quitting smoking, drinking less, exercising regularly, taking care of your hygiene, and wearing compression socks.

Don’t ignore any breathing problems or pain in the legs—it could be a sign of a pulmonary embolism! Just because you get a blood clot isn’t the end of the world. It can happen to anybody, and it is generally treatable if caught in time. It would even help if you took care of yourself by taking action against your risk factors, which means doing all that you can to prevent a pulmonary embolism from happening in the first place.

Pulmonary Doctor in Flemington, NJ

Pulmonary embolism is a dangerous condition that can be prevented. Hunterdon Pulmonary & Sleep Associates team of specialists can help you find out if pulmonary embolism could affect your health and how it might impact your life in the future. If you’re concerned about this potentially fatal disease, contact our Flemington, NJ office today for an appointment with one of their expert physicians. The latter is dedicated to helping patients get healthy again by preventing or treating pulmonary embolisms before they become serious problems! Contact us at 908-237-1560 or visit our website for more information on the prevention treatments available from Hunterdon Pulmonary & Sleep Associates.