Complications of Pulmonary Hypertension Are Incredibly Dangerous
Many people are familiar with high blood pressure and are aware of the dangers of having chronic high blood pressure. However, body wide high blood pressure should not be the only concern of many people. In some cases, blood pressure can be specifically targeted to areas of the body.
Pulmonary hypertension is one of the most dangerous and troublesome forms of high blood pressure. This condition affects the pulmonary arteries that run through the lungs and on the right side of the heart. It’s very possible for the right ventricle to weaken and fail if things get out of hand. Any condition that can cause heart failure needs to be taken very seriously. Learn more about pulmonary hypertension and what can be done about it.
Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension
There are multiple different types of pulmonary hypertension. It can be caused by a number of different factors and each of the groups of pulmonary hypertension are linked to the causes. The first grouping is idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. Group 2 is caused by issues with heart disease. Specifically it’s from failure or disease of the left side chambers of the heart. Group 3 is caused by various lung diseases like emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis. It can also be caused by some sleeping disorders. The fourth group is specifically caused by blood clots that occur in the lungs. The fifth group groups up a collection of other issues that aren’t really linked to a specific body part or area, but can still cause pulmonary hypertension. This includes blood disorders, metabolic disorders, disorders affecting multiple organs and tumors that press against pulmonary arteries.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension
Much like regular high blood pressure, pulmonary hypertension might not start to show symptoms until it is at a more advanced state. If they do show early, it’s likely that symptoms will become more pronounced as the condition deteriorates. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Dyspnea - This is a shortness of breath. It is most likely to show itself first while the body is exercising, before becoming more common later.
- Syncope - This is better known as fainting spells. People may feel very dizzy.
- Fatigue - This common symptom may appear, but will likely require more symptoms to determine if the issue is pulmonary hypertension.
- Swelling - This can occur in different parts of the body. It usually starts in the ankles and legs, but will move to the abdomen.
- Cyanosis - This is a blue tinge to skin and the lips.
- Heart Rate Changes - People may feel a very elevated heart rate and suffer from heart palpitations.
- Pressure and Pain - This is likely to be felt in the chest area.
Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary tension treatment is designed to improve symptoms and slow the progress of the the disease. This is because there is currently no cure for pulmonary hypertension. However, treatment can still be effective and reduce the chances of heart failure while increasing quality of life.
Medication is very common. One type of medication is designed to specifically open the blood vessels that have become restricted. Unfortunately, it only works for a few minutes at a time and thus, needs to be taken by IV. There’s also an inhaler option which can be taken several times per day. Other medications can work to help muscles in the walls of the blood vessels relax while others work to reduce coagulation and prevent blood clots from forming. If medications don’t work, open heart surgery or a lung transplant may be required.
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