About Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs. These arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs and when the walls of the arteries get thick, it narrows the space inside the arteries and blood does not flow as well as it should causing pressure to build up. There are different types of pulmonary hypertension that can be caused by other health conditions such as heart or lung problems.
What are the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?
When you have Pulmonary Hypertension, your body gets less oxygen from your blood. This causes symptoms such as shortness of breath and feeling tired, faint, or dizzy. Over time, these symptoms may change or get worse if your heart gets weaker and may cause heart failure.
How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed?
It can be hard to diagnose pulmonary hypertension because many other conditions can cause the same symptoms. Testing options may include:
- A chest X-ray
- Lung function tests
- An echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound test of the heart
- A CT scan of the lungs
You may also have a cardiac catheterization. This test can check the blood pressure in the lung arteries. For this test, a doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into the heart through a blood vessel.
Your doctor may do other tests to look for what's causing the high blood pressure in your lungs.
How do we treat pulmonary hypertension?
Treatment can help you feel better and live longer. Your treatment options will depend on the type of pulmonary hypertension you have and how severe it is and may be given special medicines to treat the high blood pressure in your lungs.
Treatments may include:
- Special medicine depending on the severity
- A diuretic to reduce fluid buildup.
- A blood thinner to help prevent blood clots
- Oxygen therapy to make breathing easier