Pulmonary Hypertension

Board Certified Pulmonologists & Board Certified Sleep Medicine Physicians located in Joliet and New Lenox, IL

Pulmonary Hypertension

About Pulmonary Hypertension

You may have a hard time recognizing the signs of pulmonary hypertension at first because they develop gradually. As soon as you have symptoms like shortness of breath, it’s time to seek help at Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. in Joliet and New Lenox, Illinois. Its skilled lung specialists have extensive experience diagnosing pulmonary hypertension and identifying the underlying cause, a challenging task requiring expert knowledge of the many possible conditions leading to pulmonary hypertension. Call the nearest office or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.

Pulmonary Hypertension Q & A

What is pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension means you have high blood pressure in the arteries carrying blood from your heart to your lungs (the pulmonary arteries) and in smaller arteries inside your lungs.

This condition develops when the arterial lining becomes inflamed, limiting the blood flow and making your heart work harder to push blood through the pulmonary arteries.

What causes pulmonary hypertension? 

Pulmonary hypertension is often a complication of heart or lung disease, but it has many possible causes, including:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Heart failure
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • HIV infection
  • Sleep apnea
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Lung blockages like blood clots

Pulmonary hypertension may arise from heart disease, and if it goes untreated, it also causes a serious heart condition called right-sided heart failure.

The lower right heart chamber (right ventricle) enlarges as it tries to push blood into the pulmonary arteries. As a result, less blood flows through your heart and, instead, backs up in your body.

What symptoms does pulmonary hypertension cause?

The symptoms typically begin with mild shortness of breath during activities like climbing stairs. In the early stages, your symptoms improve when resting. As the disease progresses, you have symptoms all the time, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Bluish skin or lips
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Swelling in your tummy, lower legs, feet, and hands

Swelling in your extremities (edema) and abdominal bloating (ascites) are caused by excess fluid.

How is pulmonary hypertension treated?

When your symptoms and physical exam suggest you have pulmonary hypertension, your skilled Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. provider performs diagnostic tests to verify you have the condition and determine the severity of the disease.

Your customized treatment depends on the type of pulmonary hypertension you have. You will need treatments that target your lungs and the underlying condition causing the problem.

These are a few examples of treatments directly targeting pulmonary hypertension:

  • Pulmonary vasodilators (medicines that relax the pulmonary arteries)
  • Calcium channel blockers (to lower the blood pressure in the arteries and your body)
  • Diuretics (clear excess fluids out of your body)
  • Oxygen therapy (to improve oxygen levels in your blood)
  • Anticoagulants (to prevent blood clots)
  • Balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) (to widen the pulmonary arteries)
  • Pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) (to remove blood clots from your lungs)

Call Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. or book online today to get exceptional care for pulmonary hypertension.