May 19, 2024

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Human Lung on White Background illustration

Human Lung on White Background illustration

Pulmonary Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Are you going through pulmonary hypertension? If yes, you need to look no further, as you can get all the details here. Pulmonary hypertension is basically a type of blood pressure that affects The pulmonary arteries that carry oxygen-poor blood from your heart to the lungs. The earliest symptom would be shortness of breath during your usual routine. Some of the most common causes include heart ailment, lung ailment, and hypoxia. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you enjoy a better quality of life.

What Is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is basically a life-threatening ailment that gets worse with time, but treatments can help your symptoms so you can live a better life with the disease. It might take some planning, but several people had found ways to do all the things they love just as they did before they were diagnosed. Having pulmonary arterial hypertension means that you have high blood pressure in your arteries, which goes from the heart to the lungs. Blood pressure in the pulmonary artery is different from pulmonary hypertension.

With pulmonary hypertension, the tiny arteries in the lungs become narrow or blocked it is challenging for the blood to flow from them, which raises the blood pressure in the lungs. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood through those arteries, and after a while, the heart muscles get completely weak. It can lead to heart failure eventually.

Causes

At times the doctors cannot find a reason for high blood pressure in your lungs. The condition is known as idiopathic pulmonary hypertension in that case. Genes might play a crucial role in some people getting it. In some cases, there is a condition that is causing the problem. Any of these ailments can lead to high blood pressure in the lungs, like congestive heart failure, blood clots in your lungs, and HIV, besides illegal drug use. A heart defect that you are born with can also cause pulmonary hypertension.

Symptoms

You must know about pulmonary hypertension symptoms. One of them is shortness of breath when you are active. It basically starts slowing and gets worse as time goes on. You might notice that you cannot do some of the things that you used to do without getting winded. Some other symptoms might also include chest pain, fatigue passing out, or swelling in your legs and ankle.

Getting The Right Diagnosis

If you have any shortness of breath and see your doctor, they would ask you about your medical history, and they might also ask you about do you smoke does anybody in your family have a heart or lung ailment. They will also check with you when the symptoms start or what makes the symptoms better or worse. Your doctor might order tests including the following.

  • Echocardiogram is an ultrasound picture of your beating heart that can check the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. 

  • A CT scan can show enlarged pulmonary arteries. This can also spot other lung problems that cause shortness of breath.

  • A ventilation-perfusion scan is a test that can help find blood clots that can cause high blood pressure in your lungs.

  • Electrocardiogram is a test that can Trace the heart’s activity and can show whether the right side of the heart is under strain or not. It is a warning sign of pulmonary hypertension.

  • Chest X-ray can show if the arteries in for heart are enlarged. Chest X-rays can also be helpful in finding any other lung or heart ailments that might be causing the issue.

  • Exercise testing is possible when your doctor wants you to run on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while you are hooked to the monitor so that they can see the changes in the oxygen levels, heart functioning, lung pressure, or other things.

Your doctor might also do blood tests to check for HIV and conditions, including lupus. If these tests show that you might have pulmonary hypertension, your doctor will need to do a heart catheterization to ensure.

The doctor needs to place the caterer in the large vein, most often the jugular vein in the neck or the femoral vein in the leg, and then thread it into the right side of the heart.

The monitor will record the pressure on the right side of your heart in the pulmonary arteries. The doctor might also inject medicines into the arteries to check if the pulmonary arteries are stiff. This is known as the viscera activity test. Right heart catheterization is entirely safe when the doctor gives you a sedative and uses local anesthesia. You can also go home the same day even though you will need someone to drive you home.

Treatment

The pulmonary hypertension treatment depends on your specific condition. You have to ask your doctor what your options are and what you can expect. Firstly the doctor will treat the cause of your disease. For instance, if emphysema is causing the problem, you will need to treat that to improve pulmonary hypertension.

Most people also get the treatment to improve their breathing which makes it easy to be active and do the daily work. Oxygen therapy, when you breathe pure oxygen through prongs that fit in your nose, will help you if you are short of breath and have low oxygen levels in the blood. It enables you to live longer when you have pulmonary hypertension.

So one of the best things you can do for yourself is to stay active even if you have shortness of breath after a pulmonary heart ailment. You should get plenty of rest as pulmonary hypertension makes.