Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs. These blood vessels carry blood from the heart to the lungs, where the blood picks up oxygen. The walls of the arteries may get thick, and the arteries may get narrow. When this happens, blood does not flow as well as it should. Pressure builds up in the arteries. Then your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your lungs.
There are different types of pulmonary hypertension. They are caused by different things. Causes include other health conditions such as heart or lung problems. Sometimes it can happen without a known cause.
When you have this condition, your body gets less oxygen from your blood. This causes symptoms such as shortness of breath and feeling tired, faint, or dizzy. Over time, these symptoms may change or get worse if your heart gets weaker. You may get heart failure. Heart failure means your heart doesn't pump as much blood as your body needs.
Treatment can help you feel better and live longer. Your treatment options will depend on the type of pulmonary hypertension you have.
It can be hard to learn that you have a problem with your lungs and heart. But there are things you can do to feel better and stay as active as you can.
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:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter E465 in the search box to learn more about "Pulmonary Hypertension: Care Instructions".
Current as of: September 21, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine
©2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
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.