Pulmonary Hypertension

What is Pulmonary Hypertension ?

Pulmonary Hypertension is life threatening disease. It affects the arteries in lungs and right ventricle of heart. Pulmonary Hypertension begins from narrowing of pulmonary arteries in lungs, which makes blood flow harder. It makes our heart (especially right ventricle) to pump blood with more pressure, which eventually weakens the heart muscles and may lead to heart fail.

Is Pulmonary Hypertension Curable ?

No, Pulmonary Hypertension is not curable, But symptoms of this disease can be reduced with proper treatment. So its better to take treatment if you are diagnosed for this disease. Proper treatment will increase your quality of life.

Pulmonary Hypertension Symptoms

Pulmonary Hypertension don't show any major symptoms in earlier stages. People often treat its symptoms as symptoms of some other diseases. As time passes by the symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension become worse.

Some common symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension are:

  • Short Breath, initially during some physical activity and eventually at rest.
  • Feeling tired in less physical activity.
  • Chest Pressure or Pain
  • Swelling in ankles, legs and abdomen.
  • Occasional Fainting
  • Bluish lips and skin.
  • Fast pulse rate

What are the causes of Pulmonary Hypertension?

Narrowing of the pulmonary arteries in lungs are the main cause of Pulmonary Hypertension. The main reason behind narrowing of these arteries is mostly connected to other diseases such as

  • Clots in Lungs
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Inborn heart defects
  • AIDS
  • Emphysema
  • Scleroderma or Lupus
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Cirrhosis
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Living or climbing at altitudes higher than 8000 feet.

Sometimes Pulmonary Hypertension is caused due to unknown reasons. In such cases doctors take it as a genetic disorder and name it Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension (IPH).

Is there some treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension?

Yes, there are a variety of treatments depending upon the severity and underlying secondary disease which may be causing Pulmonary Hypertension. If its due to some other disease then treatment og that disease will make positive impact on Pulmonary Hypertension. But if you are suffering from IPH, then there are different type of medications to reverse the effect. There are some medicines to treat the arteries and reverse the narrowing. In some cases some pills to dilute the blood can also be used. Some drugs come in the form of IV and inhalers to treat Pulmonary Hypertension.
In some rare cases open heart surgery and transplantation is the last option to save the life.

Can some lifestyle changes help you live a better life with Pulmonary Hypertension ?

Yes, lifestyle changes can help a lot in living with Pulmonary Hypertension. This disease can't be permanently cured but lifestyle changes can reduce the symptoms.

  • Don't Smoke and avoid passive smoking
  • Get Plenty of Rest
  • If you are a lady, then don't become pregnant.
  • Stay Active but consult your doctor about your activity/exercise schedule.
  • Avoid travelling to high altitudes.
  • Reduce Stress by doing Yoga
  • Get a diet full of nutrients and maintain a healthy weight.

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