What are the Symptoms of ARDS?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 24, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • ARDS is marked by severe shortness of breath.
  • Labored and unusually rapid breathing is a sign.
  • Oxygen levels in the blood can go really low.
  • Symptoms may occur depending on the cause of the disorder.


When a person’s lung is injured to the point when it becomes ineffective to do its basic functions like moving air in and out of the blood, the condition is known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The condition develops rapidly and can be life threatening. It was recognized by doctors first in the year 1967 and was initially known as adult respiratory distress disorder; but after it was found that the condition can also occur in children ages one and older, medical professionals now refer to it as acute respiratory distress disorder.

Other names for ARDS are acute lung injury, non-cardiac pulmonary edema, and increased-permeability pulmonary edema and it has been mentioned as stiff lung, wet lung, and shock lung in the past.

Symptoms of ARDS

Symptoms of ARDS

Mayoclinic says, the signs and symptoms of ARDS can vary in intensity, depending on its cause and severity. They include:

  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Labored and unusually rapid breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Confusion and extreme tiredness
  • Low oxygen levels in your blood, which can lead to organ failure and symptoms such as rapid heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Some symptoms of ARDS may occur depending on the cause of the disorder. So, if pneumonia was the reason behind a person’s ARDS, they may experience chest pain and fever along with other symptoms of it.

ARDS is a medical emergency and if a person experiences its symptoms, prompt medical help and treatment should be looked for, absence of which can lead to death in no time.

Image Courtesy: Getty

Read more articles on ARDS.



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