Pulmonary Hypertension

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Leaders in Providing Comprehensive Pulmonary Care and Sleep Medicine Services, All Under One Roof, for patients in and around Altoona, PA

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs, as well as the right side of the heart. Unfortunately, some forms of pulmonary hypertension are serious conditions that become progressively worse - and are sometimes fatal. Although some forms of pulmonary hypertension aren't curable, treatment can help lessen symptoms and improve your quality of life.

If you suspect you have this problem, it is important that you schedule regular checkups with your doctor, and ask questions about any symptoms and the safety of over-the-counter medications. You should also alert your doctor to any significant or rapid changes in your weight. Don’t wait until it is too late to make a difference. Know more about Pulmonary Hypertension - and call us at 814-946-2845 or book an appointment online!

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What is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary Hypertension is an incurable inflammatory disease of the lungs. Changes in the capillaries within the lungs cause them to harden or narrow, making it difficult to push blood through them and into the lungs to pick up oxygen. This also makes it harder for the heart to pump blood through the vessels, which eventually leads to heart failure. 

 

Who’s at Risk of Developing Pulmonary Hypertension?

It generally affects younger people, particularly women who have connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma or lupus. The condition can affect individuals at any age, however, from fetal life to adulthood. 

 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension?

Some patients experience no symptoms at all. Other patients may experience a range of the following:

  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chronic cough
  • Fast heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling, particularly swollen legs

 

How Do We Diagnose Pulmonary Hypertension?

The only sure way to identify pulmonary hypertension is to insert a catheter into the right side of the heart and directly measure the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. An echocardiography is used as a screening tool to determine whether there is evidence for pulmonary hypertension and for ongoing monitoring of the disease. CT scans are also used to confirm malformation in the lungs. Treatments for most forms of pulmonary hypertension target heart function or remove the arterial blockage causing the problem.

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