Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs) is a blood flow disorder that is caused by any disease that stops blood flow in the lungs. Frequent causes are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This disease is especially prone to people who live long at high altitudes.
Regardless of the cause, the main consequence is the increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries that drain blood from the heart into the lungs. Over time, this leads to artery thickening and thus to new disturbances in the bloodstream, creating a vicious circle. The right side of the heart increases to compensate for poor blood circulation through the lungs, which can lead to decompensation of the right heart.
In most cases, the symptoms won’t appear until the disease is advanced. The main symptom is swollen ankles due to accumulating blood in veins that lead to the heart. If the pulmonary hypertension is the result of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, the skin may become bluish because it contains less oxygen and more waste materials than normal. If you are already breathing hard because of the primary pulmonary disease, your lungs will create even greater breathing difficulties. Some symptoms of right heart failure may also occur.
Pulmonary heart disease is a common disorder in people with frequent infections of organs in the chest, especially in middle and older smokers.
The greatest danger is the threat of lung disease that causes pulmonary hypertension. In addition, the disease can lead to decompensation (failure) of the heart.
What to do?
You must first treat the primary pulmonary disease. If you notice that your ankles swell in periods when the pulmonary disease is particularly acute, tell the doctor who will look at you and take a sample of urine to test the condition of your kidneys, which may be affected by a long decompression of the heart. If there are signs of decompensation of the heart, you may have to go to other diagnostic tests for this disorder.
Self-help: if you still smoke despite lung disease, stop smoking now.
Professional help: depletion of the heart due to pulmonary heart can be alleviated by lying and giving oxygen (to reduce pulmonary artery spasms), as well as diuretics (to release excess fluid from the body). However, new seizures are possible if no basic illness is treated. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis are facilitated, for example, by means of preventing infection in the chest and in bronchodilators against airways spasms. Prolonged oxygen therapy sometimes lowers the pulmonary pressure, so your doctor will take care of you to take this therapy at home.
If the pulmonary heart is caused by chronic pulmonary disease, long-term treatment is attempted to prevent further deterioration of the condition. The doctor will give you antibiotics and vaccinate you against the flu to prevent acute infection in your chest.
Pulmonary hypertension is difficult to suppress if it is already in advanced stage, but it can be kept under control with careful treatment.