Each year, nearly 200,000 hospitalizations in the United States are attributed to pulmonary hypertension as a primary or secondary diagnosis. As pulmonary disease specialists, Benjamin A. Laracuente, MD, and the medical providers at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice in Monaca, Pennsylvania, are skilled in diagnosing and treating pulmonary hypertension. With on-site diagnostic technologies, the team can identify the disease in its early stages, so your treatment is more effective. If you have unexplained chest pain or often feel dizzy, don’t delay an evaluation. You can schedule an appointment online or call the Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice office.
Pulmonary hypertension develops when the blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs remains abnormally high. The small arteries in the lungs can become thickened, stiff, and narrowed, making it difficult for blood to flow properly.
As the pressure in these arteries gets higher, the lower right chamber of your heart must work overtime to pump blood, which can weaken this area of the heart and ultimately cause heart failure.
Pulmonary hypertension occurs when the cells that line the arteries in your lungs change, making the arterial walls thick and inflexible, sometimes causing excess tissue to form which further obstructs blood flow. There are a number of conditions that make you susceptible to developing pulmonary hypertension, such as being prone to frequent blood clots in your lungs or having certain connective tissue disorders.
Early in the development of pulmonary hypertension, you may not have any symptoms. As the disease worsens, you experience increasing difficulty breathing when you’re physically active.
In addition to this shortness of breath, you may also experience:
Some may develop edema, or swelling in your legs, ankles, and the abdomen.
In the early stages of pulmonary hypertension, the condition can be difficult to diagnose. However, your Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice provider carefully reviews your personal and family medical history and your symptoms.
The team also performs on-site diagnostic pulmonary function tests to evaluate your lung health. Your provider may also request an echocardiogram and other heart tests to confirm or rule out pulmonary hypertension.
While there’s no cure for pulmonary hypertension, the Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice providers work with you to keep your symptoms well-controlled and ensure you can enjoy a high quality of life.
A common treatment option for pulmonary hypertension involves medication that helps open narrowed blood vessels and improve blood flow.
In advanced stages of pulmonary hypertension, you may benefit from oxygen therapy to deliver a consistent flow of oxygen into your lungs to prevent dizziness and chronic fatigue.
If medications and oxygen therapy aren’t enough to treat pulmonary hypertension, open-heart surgery may be necessary. In those with severe damage to the arteries and uncontrollable symptoms of pulmonary hypertension, a heart or lung transplant may be an option to restore your quality of life.
To find consistent care for all stages of pulmonary hypertension, schedule an appointment at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice today or request a consultation online.