Pulmonary Hypertension
There is currently no cure for pulmonary hypertension, but treatments are available to decrease symptoms and improve quality of life.

Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is high blood pressure in the arteries to your lungs. The blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your lungs become hard and narrow. Your heart has to work harder to pump the blood through. Over time, your heart weakens and cannot do its job and you can develop heart failure. PH can have multiple causes, but is commonly associated with lung conditions such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Pulmonary Fibrosis. There is currently no cure for PH, but treatments are available to decrease symptoms and improve quality of life.

Who is at risk?

  • Obese people with obstructive sleep apnea
  • Those taking certain drugs and medications, e.g. cocaine, methamphetamines, etc.
  • Those genetically pre-disposed
  • Those who have certain medical conditions, e.g. heart and lung disease, liver disease, HIV infection or blood clots in the pulmonary arteries
  • Those living at a high altitude

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Swelling of the arms, legs, ankles or abdomen
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Dizziness or fainting

How is PH diagnosed?

Your doctor may order blood tests. If a PH test is positive, further tests such as chest X-ray or electrocardiogram (EKG), may be needed.

How is PH treated?

Doctors may prescribe one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Medicines
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Open heart surgery
  • Lung or heart transplant

How can I manage the symptoms?

  • Be physically active
  • Quit smoking
  • Follow a healthy diet
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