Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension – What it is, Causes and Treatments best suited to treat this condition. In addition, Pulmonary Hypertension is a rare, progressive and potentially fatal disease characterized by an increase in Pulmonary Arterial Pressure (PAP) and an increase in Pulmonary Vascular Resistance (PVR).
When talking about hypertension, it is common to think of excess salt and damage such as heart attack or stroke . But there is a type of hypertension that few people know and that greatly affects the quality of life of its patients: pulmonary hypertension.
In it, the arteries responsible for carrying blood to the lungs are narrowed. With this, there is an increase in the blood pressure of the lungs and a dilation of the heart that, over time, becomes overloaded and ends up stopping. Not to mention that the patient may have shortness of breath during everyday activities, fatigue and dizziness , among other symptoms.
Pulmonary Hypertension is the name given to a set of changes that make it difficult for blood to pass through the pulmonary arteries and veins. This process can overload the heart and cause tiredness and fainting. In very severe cases, hospitalization and lung transplantation may be required. So, check out more about Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension – What it is, Causes and Treatments:
Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension: The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs, where it receives oxygen. Then the blood returns to the left side of the heart, where it is pumped throughout the rest of the body.
When the arteries of the lung become too narrow, blood transport is impaired, thus leading to an increase in blood pressure . Also, when blood vessels are too narrow, the heart has to work harder to force blood through, which ends up overloading it.
Other than that, the narrowing of the arteries still prevents enough blood flow. Therefore, if the circulation does not happen normally, that is, if the blood does not reach the lungs in sufficient quantity to receive oxygen, the circulation of the entire body is impaired. Pulmonary hypertension can be caused by:
- Autoimmune disorders that damage the lungs, such as scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis ;
- Congenic cardiopatics;
- Blood clots in the lung ( pulmonary embolism );
- Congestive heart failure;
- Heart valve disease;
- Low blood oxygen levels for a long time (chronic);
- Lung disease such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis ;
- Obstructive sleep apnea .
In many cases, the cause of Pulmonary Hypertension is unknown.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension: The overload caused on the lungs and heart, due to increased pressure in the blood vessels, causes symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breathe;
- Fainting during exertion;
- dizziness ;
- Pain and tightness in the chest.
Shortness of breath initially occurs during exertion, but as the disease worsens and becomes more severe, it can happen even at rest. In addition, as Pulmonary Hypertension is closely related to cardiac changes, symptoms related to the heart may also appear, such as swelling in the legs and palpitations.
Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension: In general, there is no cure for long-standing Pulmonary Hypertension , but sometimes the cause can be removed, for example in obstructive sleep apnea , in certain lung conditions, and in heart valve disorders.
The first goal of treatment is to prevent damage to the lungs. Some situations call for anticoagulants, diuretics, vasodilators, and medications that help the heart work better. In extreme cases, a lung transplant may be necessary.