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Treatment can improve quality of life, says Dr Lakshmi Narasimhan

Mysuru, September 17:- In Pulmonary Hypertension, timely treatment can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life said Dr R Lakshmi Narasimhan – Consultant Pulmonary Medicine, Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Disorders, Columbia Asia Hospital, Mysuru.

“Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and right side of the heart. Due to which the blood pressure in these arteries rises above normal levels which stresses the right ventricle of the heart. The enlarged right ventricle slowly become weaker and loses its capacity to pump enough blood to the lungs which may lead to right heart failure. It may occur in all ages and it is more common in young adults and more common in women. It gets worse over time, treatments can help symptoms to live better with the disease. It may take some preparation, but many people who are having pulmonary hypertension finding ways to do all the things they love, just as they did before they were diagnosed,” added Dr Narasimhan.

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension

Initially, pulmonary hypertension may not have any symptoms but later one can notice shortness of breath as the first symptoms. Many people with pulmonary hypertension may have no symptoms at all, especially if the disease is mild or in the early stages. As the disease gets worse, symptoms can include: Early symptoms – shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, racing heartbeat, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen and decreased appetite. Later symptoms: Feeling light-headed especially during physical activity, fainting, swelling in the ankles or legs and blush lips or skin

Causes: It is not always easy to find out what causes pulmonary hypertension. There are several causes, but some of the most common causes are changes to the pulmonary arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a reason for high blood pressure in the lungs. Illness including congestive heart failure, blood clots in the lungs, HIV, illegal drug use, liver disease, born with a heart defect can lead to high blood pressure in lungs.

Can pulmonary hypertension be prevented?

All pulmonary hypertension can’t be prevented, but we can make an effort to prevent other conditions that can cause the disease which includes high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and chronic lung disease from tobacco use.

Treatment: There is no cure for pulmonary hypertension but treatment can improve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. The kind of treatment depends on what is causing pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension varies from person to person, so treatment plan will also be based on individuals. If the cause of pulmonary hypertension is known, treating the cause may improve the condition. For example, if the condition is caused by lung disease, it may need oxygen therapy to raise the level of oxygen in the blood or if it is caused by blood clots in lungs, it will likely take blood-thinning medicines to prevent clots from getting larger.

How to stay active: To stay active regular exercise including walk will help to breathe better and live better. Before starting any exercises it is always better to have consultations with the doctor and know what kind of exercise is best and how much we should do. Apart from this plenty of rest is also important for pulmonary hypertension patients. Just like anyone else, its good HP patients eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and grains.

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