What You Need to Know About Pulmonary Hypertension

What you need to know about pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is considered a relatively rare disease and is caused by high blood pressure in the small arteries on the right side of the heart and in the lungs. There is a chance that you know high blood pressure also known as hypertension, but pulmonary hypertension is a less-known type of high blood pressure. This article explains what you need to know about pulmonary hypertension. 

Understanding Pulmonary Hypertension

As also explained earlier, says that pulmonary hypertension can affect the small arteries on the right side of your heart and the lungs. These small arteries are blocked, become narrow, or destroyed leading to increased pressure in large arteries of the lungs, known as the pulmonary artery. 

Keep in mind that the pulmonary artery transports oxygen-depleted blood from the right ventricle of your heart to the lungs where this blood is supplied with oxygen. Therefore, when there is increased pressure in the pulmonary artery, the right ventricle is forced to work harder to supply blood. 

Over time, the right side of your heart weakens and can lead to heart failure. That said, systemic hypertension is different from pulmonary hypertension because systemic hypertension is high pressure in the aorta.

Types of Pulmonary Hypertension

Various factors can cause pulmonary hypertension, and it’s categorized into several groups. The first group is also known as pulmonary arterial hypertension which is caused by connective tissue diseases like lupus, inherited genetic mutations, heart abnormalities at birth, certain illicit drugs and medications, and many others. This group also has pulmonary hypertension that has an unknown cause and is called idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. 

Group 2 pulmonary hypertension is the second group that has pulmonary hypertension caused by left heart disease. This includes diastolic heart failure, systolic heart failure, and valve disease, and others.

Group 3 pulmonary hypertension is group 3 that includes pulmonary hypertension caused by low oxygen levels and diseases of the lungs. This includes conditions, such as lung fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and obstructive sleep apnea. 

Group 4 is called pulmonary hypertension caused by chronic clots that happen on the lungs also called chronic pulmonary emboli. Lastly, there is group 5 pulmonary hypertension caused by various factors, such as metabolic disorders, blood disorders, and many others.

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension come in various forms like a bluish discoloration of fingers and lips, shortness of breath, and swelling of the abdomen and legs. Unfortunately, these symptoms are also linked with several other conditions, so it can be quite hard to initially identify pulmonary hypertension. 

In advanced stages of this disease, you can experience heart palpitations, chest pain, or you may pass out while exercising or exertion. People who risk suffering from pulmonary hypertension include those whose family history has someone who had pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, if you know or suspect that you have this condition, you need to check at for help.

An expert heart center can conduct some tests for pulmonary hypertension and a cardiologist can take a detailed history and physically examine you to determine if you have this disease or not. Testing includes a heart ultrasound, blood tests, or an MRI scan of your heart.

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