Pulmonary hypertension or PHT is a medical condition in which there is a significant increase in the blood pressure of the lung vasculature. Increase in the blood pressure is caused by stiffness in the pulmonary arteries. These arteries are the ones that get the blood pumping to the heart. Because of this condition, patients may have difficulty in breathing and can feel dizzy. When not treated, the right part of the heart can be enlarged, and this can cause the other organs in the body to eventually be affected.
Pulmonary hypertension can have many classifications. They can be arterial hypertension, primary hypertension or secondary hypertension. There can be different treatments that are done for these different types of pulmonary hypertension.
Here are some of the treatments that are done to patients with pulmonary hypertension:
- Cause of the pulmonary hypertension. The first thing that is observed on a patient with pulmonary hypertension is the cause of the condition. By knowing the cause, doctors can provide the best treatment that will help the patient. Patients who have pulmonary hypertension due to another disease, such as scleroderma, are referred to a rheumatologist. Patients who have the left parts of their hearts affected are helped by a cardiologist. If the pulmonary hypertension is caused by hypoxia, a pulmonologist does the hypertension treatment.
- No underlying cause. Some people with pulmonary hypertension get it with no cause. For these cases, doctors use a more extensive therapy procedure. The patient is given medication that will help in dilating the pulmonary arteries. This will cause the pressure in the blood vessels to relax so that the blood pressure can normalize. Some of the most common medications given are Flolan, Ventavis, Remodulin, Tracleer, Viagra and Letairis. Doctors can also give the patients diuretics to decrease the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension and to lessen the chance of leg swelling.
- Supplemental oxygen. Some patients who really have difficulty breathing and are asked to inhale supplemental oxygen, especially in areas where there is a low oxygen level in the atmosphere. This is the case for people who are traveling inside an airplane or when they are in high altitudes.
- Lung transplant. For patients who are experiencing a severe case of pulmonary hypertension, lung transplant may be an option. This procedure is only done to patients who are strong and healthy enough to endure the complicated and difficult procedure because the recuperation period can be long and difficult.
These are some of the most used treatments for pulmonary hypertension. Even if there have been advancements in medicine throughout the years, there is still no proven cure for pulmonary hypertension. It is better to catch the disease early so that a treatment can be given early on. Some of the symptoms you should watch out for are shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness or chest pains. If you suspect that you have pulmonary hypertension, it is best to go in for a physical check up.