Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition that is when you have high blood pressure in the arteries to your lungs.  These are the blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to the lungs, they start to become hard and narrow. This will cause your heart to have to work harder to pump the blood to the lungs.  Some of the types of Pulmonary hypertension aren’t curable, but there are treatments that will help it be manageable. Pulmonary hypertension can become very serious and even be fatal.

Symptoms

Symptoms to be aware of are shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, chest pressure or pain, swelling, or heart palpitations.  If you experience any of these consult with your doctor.

Types

There are five categories that Pulmonary hypertension categorized by the cause of the Pulmonary hypertension.  

The first group is Pulmonary arterial hypertension.  The main cause of this is unknown. It could possibly stem from a gene mutation, the use of methamphetamines, or diseases such as scleroderma, HIV, or liver disease.  

Pulmonary hypertension caused by left sided heart disease.  This group of Pulmonary hypertension is caused from having left sided valvular heart disease, or failure of the left lower heart chamber.  

Pulmonary hypertension caused by lung disease is another group.  This can be caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, i.e. emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or sleep apnea.

Pulmonary hypertension caused by blood clots, is just that.  It is caused by chronic blood clots in the lungs.

The fifth group is Pulmonary hypertension caused by other conditions.  This is very broad but the other conditions could include blood disorders, metabolic disorders, or tumors.

Risk Factors

There are some risk groups that are more prone to getting Pulmonary hypertension.  If you are a young adult you can be more prone to developing Pulmonary hypertension.  Other risk factors are overweight, family history, illegal drugs, or appetite suppressant medication.  As well as if you have any of the conditions that lead into one of the Pulmonary hypertension groups.

Complications

Pulmonary hypertension can lead to some conditions.  Right-sided heart enlargement, which can be caused by your heart having to pump too hard. Blood clots can be caused or bleeding into the lungs.  Arrhythmia which is irregular heartbeats can also be caused from Pulmonary hypertension as well.

Diagnosis

Pulmonary hypertension can be very difficult to diagnose.  The symptoms are very similar to those of other heart and lung conditions.  This can lead to lots of different tests to get to the diagnosis. Your doctor may want to do an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of your heart.  This will take pictures of your heart to see how it is work