All About: Pulmonary Hypertension

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) – high blood pressure in the lungs – is a common condition. While most people are aware of their blood pressure, many are surprised to learn that they have a separate blood pressure in their lungs because it is not usually measured.


People with PH have shortness of breath and sometimes swelling in their legs.
As their condition progresses, some people will have chest pains, fluttering and racing of their heart or feel lightheaded while exerting themselves.
It is very important that you talk to your primary care provider if you have these symptoms.

Risk Factors

There are many reasons that people develop high blood pressure in their lungs. PH can affect people of all ages and races.
A wide range of problems in the lungs, the heart, and with sleep can cause PH including:
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Recreational drug usage


You should talk to your primary care provider first if you are experiencing symptoms of PH. They will then provide you a referral to a specialist.
A specialist will review all your medical problems and medications, look at pictures of your lungs, examine how the air flows in and out of your lungs and ask you about your sleep and other lifestyle habits.


The good news is that there are many highly effective treatments for all types of PH. Many people will be treated with one or more medications and sometimes other treatments such as CPAP for sleep apnea.
Everyone with PH will benefit from regular physical activity, good nutrition, and low salt diets as part of their treatment plan.