Pulmonary Hypertension: Everything You Need to Know

Pulmonary Hypertension: Everything You Need to Know
Admin Published : Jun 22, 2023 Last Updated : Jan 25, 2024

Are you experiencing abnormally high pressure in your blood vessels between the lungs & the heart? If the answer is yes, you most likely have pulmonary hypertension.

Shortness of breath while performing daily activities is contemplated as one of the major signs of pulmonary hypertension.

While suffering from pulmonary hypertension, you probably experience heart disease, hypoxia, and lung illness.

But with early diagnosis and the right treatment, it is easy to deal with pulmonary hypertension and improve quality of life.

What do you mean by pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is considered a general diagnosis which means you presence of high blood pressure in your pulmonary arteries.

These are the blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen-poor blood from the heart to your lungs.

You need to know that pulmonary hypertension has different causes. Usually, it is a complication of lung disease or heart disease.

But there are also other environmental factors and diseases which can increase your risk of suffering from pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension is dangerous because it disturbs the blood flow in your heart and lungs.

High blood pressure in your pulmonary arteries is also responsible for causing these arteries to become narrow.

Remember your heart should work hard in order to pump oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.

With time, PH damages the heart and causes issues throughout your body. Without treatment, it can be even deadly sometimes.

How pulmonary hypertension is responsible for affecting your body?

If not treated, pulmonary hypertension can lead to severe problems in the body, including:

  • Anemia
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Arrhythmias
  • Blood clots in your pulmonary arteries

For pregnant women, pulmonary hypertension can be dangerous if not treated on time.

Pulmonary hypertension can cause severe complications for the birthing parent and fetus as well.

Without the right treatment, your pulmonary hypertension can burden your heart and finally be deadly.

High blood pressure in your pulmonary arteries often forces the heart to work hard for sending oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.  

For pumping this blood to the lungs, your right ventricle is responsible.

With time, pulmonary hypertension makes your right ventricle to get big because of the additional work.

This condition can further lead to the issue of right-sided heart failure.

Right-sided heart failure often has a ripple effect through your body.

This further disturbs the normal workings of several systems & organs.

Since pulmonary hypertension is responsible for affecting your complete body, it is necessary that you are diagnosed & treated early.

Depending upon the cause of your pulmonary hypertension, the doctor will recommend you right treatment.

Irrespective of the cause, untreated pulmonary hypertension can cause serious problems.

What are the long-term consequences of pulmonary hypertension condition?

Just like systemic high blood pressure make your heart works hard for delivering blood to your body. Similarly, pulmonary hypertension happens when arteries in your lungs thicken & narrow. As a result, blood flow through the pulmonary arteries to your lungs is affected.

In this way, the pressure in your arteries increases because your heart finds it difficult to force the blood through. When your heart becomes too weak for pumping enough blood to your lungs, heart failure occurs.

Who is affected by pulmonary hypertension?

Adults at any age can be affected by pulmonary hypertension. Generally, people with heart or lung conditions get affected by pulmonary hypertension. Though pulmonary hypertension is common among people with different medical conditions as well.

Commonly, PH affects:

  • Nearly 100% of people suffering from serious mitral valve disease
  • Almost 65% of people experiencing aortic valve disease
  • Nearly 30% of people with scleroderma
  • About 20% to 40% of people suffering from sickle cell disease
  • Almost 1 in 200 people with HIV

Usually, adults are affected by pulmonary hypertension.

You will rarely find newborns getting affected by pulmonary hypertension.

This condition is called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

Infants suffering from this condition might require treatment in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

What are the different signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?

Although, there are several symptoms of pulmonary hypertension but below-stated are some of them:

  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in your ankles or legs
  • Shortness of breath during routine activity
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Pain in the upper right side of your abdomen
  • Decreased appetite
  • Feeling light-headed when performing physical activity

Diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension

With time, Pulmonary hypertension develops and sometimes without causing any early signs as well as symptoms. When symptoms take place, they might be acknowledged as asthma or various other heart or lung conditions.

In order to diagnose pulmonary hypertension, the doctor will first ask about your symptoms, risk factors along with other medical conditions as well as family history.

However, if any member of your family suffers from pulmonary hypertension, then the risk of developing this disease also increases.

The common treatment options for pulmonary hypertension include:

Calcium channel blockers: These medicines lower your blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and throughout the body. 

Oxygen therapy: If you don’t have enough oxygen in the blood, the doctor might recommend this treatment.

Diuretics: These water pills aid the body to clear out all the extra fluid present.

Pulmonary vasodilators: These medicines aid your pulmonary arteries to relax and open up in a better way. This further improves blood flow and decreases the strain on your heart as well. 

Lifestyle changes to improve your pulmonary hypertension symptoms

Here are some lifestyle changes which can aid you to get relief from pulmonary hypertension symptoms:

Pay attention to your weight

A daily trace of the weight can be helpful in knowing about speedy weight gain which is aindication that your pulmonary hypertension is getting worse.

Stop smoking

To get relief from pulmonary hypertension, the doctor can suggest quitting smoking.

Opt for a healthy diet

Add lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free milk, and lean meat to your plate. Assure that your diet is low in sodium, fat & cholesterol.

Is sildenafil 25mg TDS good for pulmonary hypertension(PH)?

Yes, Sildenafil citrate tablets help to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It improves the ability to exercise and delays the progression of this condition, also known as Group 1 pulmonary hypertension.  

How often do you take Sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension?

Sildenafil dosage for adults with PH: The FDA recommends taking 20mg of Sildenafil thrice daily (6-8 hours apart). But it is a usual dosage regimen, but it may vary from person to person. So discuss with a doctor your ideal dosage depending on your medical condition. Remember to take your prescribed dosage regularly in the same strength directed to you.

So, if you are diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, contact the doctor immediately to get the right treatment.