Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment

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If you have risk factors for pulmonary hypertension, it is important that you seek a diagnosis and treatment from a qualified establishment. Manse Medical provides both effective diagnosis and personalised pulmonary hypertension treatment options, so you can effectively manage this condition and its symptoms.

How does Manse Medical address pulmonary hypertension?

Manse Medical is a sleep and respiratory clinic with the resources and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep and respiratory conditions. This includes pulmonary hypertension.

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension can be difficult to diagnose, due to the subtlety and non-specificity of its symptoms. The main method of diagnosis is a procedure called right heart catheterisation.

While this is a surgical procedure that is not performed by Manse Medical, there are various tests that aid in the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, some of which are provided by Manse Medical. These tests include;

  • Blood tests
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest x-ray
  • High resolution CT of the chest
  • CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA)
  • Ventilation perfusion nuclear medical scan (V/Q scan)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Six minute walk test
  • Respiratory function test
  • Sleep studies

Pulmonary hypertension treatment options

There are multiple methods of caring for patients with pulmonary hypertension, each of them addressing the condition from different angles to provide a more complete and more effective pulmonary hypertension treatment plan.

These include;

  • Help and encouragement from medical professionals regarding the adoption of healthier lifestyle habits such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, etc. These habits lower the likelihood that pulmonary hypertension will worsen
  • Referring you to any other specialists if you show signs of other medical conditions that can contribute to your pulmonary hypertension, such as high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Prescribing you with medication that affects the blood vessels such as;
    • Vasodilators
    • Endothelin receptor antagonists
    • Riociguat
    • Blood thinners (a.k.a. anticoagulants)
    • Fluid tablets (a.k.a. diuretics)
  • Providing oxygen therapy, where a patient is given canisters of air with extra oxygen in it to inhale during time spent at home, which may be helpful for some people with pulmonary hypertension who have particularly low oxygen levels in their blood. It can help improve symptoms of breathlessness and tiredness by decreasing the exertion on the lungs

What is pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition in which the right side of the heart is overexerted due to high blood pressure affecting the lungs. As the heart beats harder to accommodate the lungs, it can change size and shape, becoming less effective.

This condition develops when the blood vessels inside the lungs are damaged. Over time, this damage can accumulate and become more permanent. While pulmonary hypertension is incurable, its symptoms can be lessened with the correct treatment.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include:

  • shortness of breath (a.k.a. dyspnoea), especially on exertion
  • chest pain (a.k.a. angina)
  • fatigue, tiredness, or weakness
  • blue tinge to lips or skin (a.k.a. cyanosis)
  • dry cough
  • light-headedness or loss of consciousness (a.k.a. syncope)
  • swollen legs (a.k.a. peripheral oedema)
  • weight gain over a short period of time
  • abdominal bloating

How is pulmonary hypertension classified?

There are two different methods for classifying pulmonary hypertension, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). These are based on;

  • The underlying cause
    • Group 1 – Genetic or unknown (a.k.a. Idiopathic causes)
    • Group 2 – Failure of the left side of the heart
    • Group 3 – Lung disease or chronically low levels of oxygen
    • Group 4 – Chronic blood clots on the lungs
    • Group 5 – Mixed or miscellaneous causes
  • The severity and impact on the patient
    • Functional Class 1 – Symptoms do not limit the patient’s physical ability.
    • Functional Class 2 – Symptoms result in slight limitation of physical ability, but the person is comfortable at rest. Ordinary physical activity may cause shortness of breath.
    • Functional Class 3 – Symptoms result in marked disability, with less than ordinary physical activity bringing on breathlessness. Comfortable at rest.
    • Functional Class 4 – Symptoms at rest. Severely limited by shortness of breath.

What are the risk factors for pulmonary hypertension?

There are many risk factors for pulmonary hypertension. If you exhibit these risk factors, you should consult your doctor.

  • family history of pulmonary hypertension, particularly a first-degree relative such as a parent, sibling or children
  • connective tissue disorders or autoimmune diseases, including scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • living at high altitudes for extended periods of time
  • obesity
  • female sex
  • obstructive sleep apnoea, especially untreated
  • congenital heart disease
  • underlying lung disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • infectious diseases including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • use of certain drugs and medications including methamphetamines, chemotherapy, and some diet drugs or ‘appetite suppressants’

Pulmonary Hypertension FAQs

What causes pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary Hypertension has varied causes. It can be idiopathic, meaning the origin is unknown. Additionally, it can be secondary to other health conditions such as heart and lung diseases, blood clots, or chronic respiratory disorders. Identifying the specific cause is crucial for effective management.

What are the common symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension encompass shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, fainting, and swelling in the ankles and legs. The severity of these symptoms can differ among individuals, impacting daily activities and overall well-being.

How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed?

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension involves a comprehensive approach. Medical professionals typically consider the patient’s medical history, conduct a physical examination, perform blood tests, and may use imaging studies like an echocardiogram. In some cases, a right heart catheterization may be required for a more precise diagnosis.

Is pulmonary hypertension curable?

Currently, there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension. Treatment strategies, however, focus on managing symptoms and enhancing the patient’s quality of life. Medications, lifestyle modifications, and, in severe cases, lung transplant may be considered based on the individual’s condition and response to treatment.

Can pulmonary hypertension affect people of all ages?

Yes, pulmonary hypertension can affect individuals of any age, including children. Nevertheless, it is more frequently diagnosed in adults. The causes and manifestations may vary across age groups, necessitating tailored approaches to diagnosis and management.

What is the prognosis for someone with pulmonary hypertension?

The prognosis for pulmonary hypertension is diverse and hinges on factors such as the underlying cause and the effectiveness of the treatment. With appropriate medical care and lifestyle adjustments, many individuals with Pulmonary Hypertension can lead fulfilling lives. Regular monitoring and adherence to treatment plans are vital for a favourable prognosis.

Are there risk factors for developing pulmonary hypertension?

Several risk factors contribute to the development of pulmonary hypertension. These include a family history of the condition, specific medical conditions like connective tissue disorders, and exposure to certain drugs or toxins. Understanding and mitigating these risk factors are integral to preventive efforts.

How does pulmonary hypertension affect the heart?

Pulmonary hypertension exerts strain on the right side of the heart. The condition forces the heart to work harder to pump blood through the narrowed pulmonary arteries, leading to increased stress. Over time, this can result in right-sided heart failure, emphasising the importance of early detection and management of pulmonary hypertension to prevent severe cardiac complications.

Where can I go for effective Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment?

At Manse Medical, we provide both high-quality diagnosis and treatment for respiratory disorders such as pulmonary hypertension. We take a personalised approach that focuses on your medical history and background, in order to provide you with a complete treatment plan that addresses your concerns and helps you effectively manage your symptoms.

Book your appointment online by selecting your preferred clinic and choosing from the list of available specialists.

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