What is PH?
Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a multi-faceted, complex disease often
undiagnosed because of its similarity to other common diseases. It is not common hypertension (also known as high blood pressure or “systemic hypertension”) and measured by a blood pressure cuff. In PH, the blood vessels specifically in the lungs are affected. They can become stiff, damaged or narrow, and the right side of the heart must work harder to pump blood through to the lungs which can cause enlargement and debilitation of the heart. With appropriate treatment, patients can usually live much fuller, longer lives.
Unfortunately, however, there is no current cure for the disease, other than the very risky and not universally available double lung and heart transplant.
Each form of PH is different, so it is important
for patients to find a PH
specialist, at a PH Clinic, who can accurately find what is causing
their PH and develop a treatment plan that is right for their specific type of
PH as soon as possible. Every person with PH is different, and new research is
being conducted every day with the potential to improve the outlook for people living with
this disease. Once in the care of a PH treating health care team and on
appropriate treatment, people with PH can live many years.
PROLONGED SHORTNESS OF BREATH WITH OR WITHOUT
DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT IS NOT NORMAL
Symptoms of PH
The signs and symptoms of pulmonary
hypertension in its early stages might not be noticeable for months or even years and not
everyone has obvious symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms become
Pulmonary hypertension symptoms may include:
= Shortness of breath (dyspnea), particularly on exertion
= Fatigue or tire easily
or fainting spells (syncope)
(edema) in your ankles, legs and/or abdomen (ascites)
colour to lips and skin (cyanosis)
palpitations or unexplained chest pain or pressure
Always seek medical advice if you suffer any of these symptoms