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This causes a higher resistance in the lungs. The right side of the heart then has to work harder to pump blood out to the lungs.
Medications for Pulmonary Hypertension
The right side of the heart will enlarge and thicken in response to this extra work. With time, the extra work placed on the right side of the heart can cause it to fail. Pulmonary hypertension may have no obvious cause. However, secondary pulmonary hypertension may occur in many other types of diseases.
This includes types of congenital heart disease, severe forms of lung disease, connective tissue diseases, or sickle cell disease. The incidence of idiopathic pulmonary hypertension is eight out of , people.
Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are most at risk. However, pulmonary hypertension can occur at any age. The most common symptoms of pulmonary hypertension are related to breathing trouble.
Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) | Cleveland Clinic
They include:. These symptoms may occur all at once or progress over a period of time. If any new symptoms develop, patients should call their doctor right away. All of these signs are related to the right side of the heart working harder to pump blood into the high resistance of the blood vessels in the lungs. An electrocardiogram is performed to see if there is enlargement of the right side of the heart.
A chest X-ray may show enlargement of the size of the heart, and is often a good way to follow the patient's heart size over time. An echocardiogram , or ultrasound of the heart, is done initially and is often used to follow the progression of the disease. An echocardiogram can show enlargement of the right side of the heart and can sometimes estimate the pressures. A six-minute walk test is used to evaluate the exercise capacity and the response to therapy.
During this test, an oxygen saturation monitor pulse ox is placed on the side of the head temple , and the patient walks along the measured course at their own pace for six minutes.
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The best way to make the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension is a cardiac catheterization. Because PH can restrict your physical activities, it often leads to emotional complications too. You may want to talk with a mental health provider to deal with these issues.
If the underlying cause of your pulmonary hypertension is reversible and effectively treated, you may be able to have a normal life span. An example of potentially reversible PH is in the neonatal population.
There are babies born with certain birth defects who commonly have congenital heart disease, which can cause PH. However, adherence to activity restrictions, healthy lifestyle modifications, and medication therapy as prescribed by your doctor may lessen symptoms and improve your quality of life.
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Pulmonary Hypertension: Prognosis and Life Expectancy
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Our physicians and team members focus on pulmonary hypertension patients fulltime, so they understand and have experience in the many nuances of PH and its treatment. In fact, as an academic medical center, we are one of a select number of treatment centers nationwide to offer the highly complex and leading edge treatments we do for conditions such as pulmonary embolism and pulmonary vascular disease. Thanks to our collaborative research and reputation for success, we find the most challenging pulmonary hypertension patients are often referred to us.
We also provide many second-opinion consultations for patients already diagnosed with PH. Our exceptional, board-certified physicians and other team members are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals affected by pulmonary hypertension in all of its forms.
Specialists collaborate so the patient receives coordinated and individualized care. Our staff provide essential education and connect patients with the financial, social and community resources they need as they learn to live with pulmonary hypertension.
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Learn more about our exceptional staff. Although pulmonary hypertension is a complex disease, we strive to make the patient experience as convenient as possible.