Pulmonary Hypertension

What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure. It affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart. This hypertension could progress to a chronic stage with a markedly decreased exercise tolerance.

It is a rare lung disorder in which the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become hard and narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. As a result, the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises far above normal levels.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension

It occurs in individuals of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds, although it is much more common in young adults and is approximately twice as common in women as in men.

Pulmonary Hypertension Symptoms

The symptoms of this disease in its early stages might not be noticeable like:

  • Bluish colour the lips and skin
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Dizziness or fainting spells
  • Fatigue
  • Racing pulse or heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the ankles and legs.

Pulmonary Hypertension Causes

Sometimes the reason for high blood pressure in the lungs could not be found easily. In that case, the condition is known by the name idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. However, in other cases, there is another condition that’s causing the problem. Below mentioned illnesses could lead to high blood pressure in the lungs:

      • A heart defect
      • Blood clots in the lungs
      • Congestive heart failure
      • HIV
      • Illegal drug use
      • Liver disease
      • Lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
      • Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and other autoimmune diseases
      • Sleep apnea

Pulmonary Hypertension Classification

It is classified into five groups, depending on the cause:

Group 1: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

  • A specific gene mutation could result in pulmonary hypertension in families.
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Drugs such as illegal prescription drugs
  • Heart abnormalities by birth
  • HIV infection

Group 2: Left-sided heart disease

  • Lower left heart chamber failure
  • Left-sided valvular heart disease

Group 3: Lung disease

  • Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
  • Lung disease such as pulmonary fibrosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Group 4: Chronic blood clots

  • Chronic blood clots in the lungs

Group 5: Other conditions

  • Tumours pressing against pulmonary arteries
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Disorders that affect several organs in the body
  • Blood disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart.

2. What are the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?

The symptoms of this disease may include a bluish tint to the lips and skin, chest pressure or pain, dizziness or fainting spells, fatigue, racing pulse or heart palpitations, shortness of breath, swelling in the ankles and legs.

3. What are the causes of pulmonary hypertension?

Conditions that can cause this disease include:

  • Heart defect
  • Blood clots in the lungs
  • Congestive heart failure
  • HIV
  • Illegal drug use
  • Liver disease
  • Lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
  • Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and other autoimmune diseases
  • Sleep apnea

Read More: Hypertension

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