Pulmonary hypertension is a disease related to high blood pressure that affects the arteries of the lungs and the right side of the heart. Knowing the causes/risk factors for pulmonary hypertension can help the doctor diagnose and treat the type of PH successfully. However, not all types of pulmonary hypertension are completely curable.
1. Complications of pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is considered to be quite dangerous and can lead to several life-threatening complications. Some of these include:
- Blood clots
We know that the process of blood clotting helps stop bleeding when you get injured. But, they can occur in places where they are not needed. Clots can dislodge the veins by traveling to the lungs, thereby leading to pulmonary hypertension.
Arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, is a common complication if you are suffering from pulmonary hypertension. This health condition is diagnosed by some common heart disorder symptoms like dizziness, fainting, and palpitations. However, if you know the causes/risk factors for pulmonary hypertension and take some preventive measures, then you will be able to avoid this complication.
- Heart failure and heart enlargement
In pulmonary hypertension, the right ventricle of the heart becomes enlarged and makes it difficult for the organ to pump blood. The heart compensates by expanding the right ventricle and thickening the walls, but this works temporarily, as the right ventricle fails to work due to the extra strain.
2. Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension
Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension help to detect the disease and get a possible cure. Some of them are:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the legs, abdomen, and ankles
- Heart palpitations or racing of the pulse
- Chest pain
- Bluish color of the skin and lips
3. Risk factors of pulmonary hypertension
The main cause of this health issue is still unknown. However, numerous factors are known to increase the risk of the disease. Some of these risk factors are:
Women have a greater risk of developing pulmonary hypertension. However, it is more common among those women who are of childbearing age.
High altitude is one of the causes/risk factors for pulmonary hypertension. If you have been staying at a high altitude for years, then you have a greater risk of getting affected by pulmonary hypertension.
- Family history
Family history plays a vital role in the development of pulmonary hypertension. If any member of your family suffers or has suffered from pulmonary hypertension, then you are more prone to this disease. Nevertheless, if your doctor deems family history to be a risk factor, then you will be able to cure it by genetic counseling.
- Medicines and toxins
Some medications can lead to pulmonary hypertension as a side effect. Prescriptions like methamphetamines and fen-phen are well-known for causing pulmonary hypertension.
Diseases which are related to connective tissue disorders like lupus and scleroderma can aggravate the causes/risk factors for pulmonary hypertension. Some other diseases which affect the lungs and liver can also cause pulmonary hypertension in individuals.
Pulmonary hypertension is one of those health conditions which can lead to numerous fatal complications. Thus, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of this disease, then you must visit your doctor immediately.