Pulmonary Hypertension: High Blood Pressure in Your Lungs and Heart

Pulmonary hypertension is an umbrella term
for a family of diseases that all have the same presentation, which is where the blood
pressures in the lungs are elevated. As the heart pumps on the right side, it pumps
that blood through the lungs where oxygen is picked up to the left side of the heart. The left side of the heart then pumps that
blood to the rest of the body. And it’s that conduit, or that interplay,
between the right and left side of the heart that takes place across the lungs, where disease
can take place. Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension can often
times be deceptive. In fact, there’s quite a bit of lag between
when patients present their symptoms and when they’re diagnosed. And the reason for that is the symptoms are
the same symptoms that you see in any type of heart or lung disease. Patients may present with a chest pain that
is not exactly from a clear source. They can present with breathlessness, particularly
when they walk, and even, particularly, when they walk up stairs, or up inclines. Some patients will present with a cough. Some patients will present with swelling in
their feet. And often times patients will present just
with having abnormal echocardiograms. The treatments for pulmonary hypertension
are diverse, and the reason for that is that the causes for pulmonary hypertension are
diverse. Some patients, when they come into our clinic,
we make lifestyle recommendations, recommendations for the changes in their diet. In that case, sometimes, we have them meet
with our nutritionist. Some patients, we make recommendations about
changing their sleep habits. In that case, often times, we’ll make referrals
to our sleep doctors to help in that evaluation. And sometimes patients require higher and
more complicated therapies, and in that regards, our nurse practitioner, our nurse, our pharmacist,
and often time, the combination of the cardiologist and pulmonologist in our clinic come together
to devise an individualized plan for the individual needs of that patient and their disease.

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