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Your heart has four chambers. The lower right chamber, called the right ventricle, pumps blood to the lungs.
Chronic pulmonary heart disease happens when the right ventricle has to work too hard to pump blood to lungs that have been damaged. The lungs may have been damaged by a condition like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), blood clots in the lung, or sleep apnea. As time goes by, the right ventricle may get weaker and not pump blood as well as normal.
Over time, chronic pulmonary heart disease can cause fluid to build up in your body. This buildup can cause fatigue, swelling in the legs and body, and other problems. The damage to your lungs may cause shortness of breath.
You can take steps to feel better and live longer with this disease. These steps include taking medicines regularly, getting oxygen therapy if your doctor recommends it, making lifestyle changes, and not smoking.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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