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Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension (PULL-mun-ary HI-per-TEN-shun), or PH, is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. These arteries carry blood from your heart to your lungs to pick up oxygen.

To understand PH, it helps to understand how your heart and lungs work. Your heart has two sides, separated by an inner wall called the septum.

Each side of your heart has an upper and lower chamber. The lower right chamber of your heart, the right ventricle (VEN-trih-kul), pumps blood to your pulmonary arteries. The blood then travels to your lungs, where it picks up oxygen.

The upper left chamber of your heart, the left atrium (AY-tree-um), receives the oxygen-rich blood from your lungs. The blood is then pumped into the lower left chamber of your heart, the left ventricle. From the left ventricle, the blood is pumped to the rest of your body through an artery called the aorta.

Pulmonary Hypertension Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension (PH) may include:

  1. Shortness of breath during routine activity, such as climbing two flights of stairs
  2. Tiredness
  3. Chest pain
  4. A racing heartbeat
  5. Pain on the upper right side of the abdomen
  6. Decreased appetite

As PH worsens, you may find it hard to do any physical activities. At this point, other signs and symptoms may include:

  1. Feeling light-headed, especially during physical activity
  2. Fainting at times
  3. Swelling in your legs and ankles
  4. A bluish color on your lips and skin
Plumonary Hypertension Treatment

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) has no cure. However, treatment may help relieve symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.

PH is treated with medicines, procedures, and other therapies. Treatment will depend on what type of PH you have and its severity.