What Vaping Does to your Lungs: Wet Lung and More

Learn everything you need to know about wet lung in this article. We cover the symptoms, how you can get it and more. Juul has been linked to wet lung but are those accusations fair. We take a deep dive into all things wet lung in this article.
What Vaping Does to your Lungs: Wet Lung and More

Wet Lung Disease is one of the most frightening things that come with vaping. But just because you vape doesn’t mean you have it or will ever get it. It’s time to dive into wet lung disease and find the symptoms and the role a prominent vaping device might play in all of this.

What is Wet Lung?

Wet Lung Disease, most commonly known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS, is a severe condition that occurs when the body does not receive enough oxygen for its organs to function properly. The condition is usually a complication of an existing lung infection, injury, or illness. Wet lung Disease is a disease in which there is a presence of fluid in the patient’s lungs, which leads to the lungs working less efficiently or in some extreme cases, not at all. Some people have come to believe that wet lung is a result of vaping and or other forms of electronic cigarettes because of the vapor they release.

Wet Lung symptoms
This image shows an increase of fluid in the air sacs due to a probable infection.

Symptoms of Wet Lung Disease

Since we have already discussed what wet lung is and how it obtained its name, let's now talk about what the symptoms of wet lungs are. How to treat the disease. Symptoms of Wet Lung Disease or more accurately symptoms of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS typically vary between cases. According to WebMD and MedicalNewsToday, the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Unusually fast breathing
  • Coughing
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Confusion and exhaustion
  • Blue-tinted lips or nails from lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fever

This disease can be severe, sometimes life-threatening, and can get worse quickly. But it’s generally treatable, and most people can recover from it. Fast diagnosis and treatment are essential since your body needs enough oxygen to function correctly. As long as you have this disease your lungs can't work effectively to bring oxygen to the rest of the body.

Since these symptoms are widespread and similar to other diseases, identifying wet lung is a mission. The patient will receive blood and heart tests to check for infections, anemia, or heart failure once the doctor has identified what is wrong. Then they will provide treatment in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Once the patient has arrived the doctor will begin giving him treatments which might include, depending on the severity of the case; air mask or breathing tubes and ventilator, which help to replenish the patients' levels of oxygen back to normal levels, nutrition and medicine through IV fluids which prevent bleeding and blood clots from forming.

Wet Lung Juul

Can I get Wet Lung Disease from using my Juul or other e-cig? The answer isn’t so simple. There have been cases where vaping might have played a role in giving someone Wet Lung or ARDS, but chances of someone getting it are slim to none. This condition usually involves inflammation and “fluid” buildup in the lungs. Vaping is thought of being a cause of this disease as a result of the “vapor” it releases. Most people don’t know this, but electronic cigarettes don’t release normal “vapor” like we’re used to seeing when taking a shower, cooking, or just by being outside on a hot/humid day. The “vapor” released contains vegetable glycerin and polypropylene glycol which are the main ingredients of E-liquids. These two ingredients are humectants, which means they absorb moisture from the surrounding environment.

Have you ever had your mouth dry up when vaping? That’s mostly due to the humectants inside your E-liquids which remove the moisture in your mouth, leaving it dry. Wet Lung Disease is essentially the buildup of fluid in the lungs, then the absorption of moisture from the humectants theoretically should reduce the chances of Wet Lung Disease. So wet lung Juul is not a thing, at least in our opinion.

Cases Regarding Wet Lung Disease

Out of all the cases of Wet Lung Disease that exist, there is one that tends to stand out. A teenage girl working as a hostess in a restaurant in rural Pennsylvania decided to try e-cigarettes. Perhaps to relieve the stress from work. Something unusual ended up happening after just three weeks of vaping, she began to develop symptoms bad enough to send her straight to the emergency room of the University of Pittsburgh medical center. According to Newsweek there, the doctors recorded her symptoms: Cough, Difficulty breathing, and sudden stabbing pains in the chest. The doctors first believed some form of a chest infection might be the cause of her condition, so the doctors at the University of Pittsburgh medical center prescribed her antibiotics believing this would cure her disease.

When her coughing became more frequent, she had to go back to the hospital. Soon, the young woman experienced what is a type of respiratory failure. Dr. Daniel Weiner, one of her doctors, said: “She was unable to get enough oxygen into her blood from her lungs and required a mechanical ventilator (respirator) to breathe for her until her lungs recovered.” Not only did she require a respirator, but she needed tubes inserted into her chest to drain the fluid which had accumulated in her lungs.

What caused her to get Wet Lung Disease?

In her case, Wet Lung Disease is likely a cause of hypersensitivity pneumonitis which is a disease of the lungs in which your lungs become inflamed as an allergic reaction to inhaled dust, fungus, molds, or chemicals. The young lady might have had an allergy to something in the e-liquids like maybe polypropylene glycol for instance, where the common symptoms are sore, dry throat, dry skin, headaches, and nausea.

With long enough exposure to the allergen, which varies from person to person, hypersensitivity pneumonitis leads to the tiny air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed as their walls filled with white blood cells, which try to fight the allergen. Occasionally, the air sacs may also fill up with fluid. The inflammation gets better within a few days if you no longer breathe in the allergen. We hope that this article cleared up questions surrounding wet lung disease and how wet lung Juul plays a role in all of this..


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