Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a kind of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs and heart. PH can make you short of breath and often looks like or accompanies other diseases of the lungs and heart such as COPD, emphysema, interstitial lung disease (ILD) or sleep apnea.
Healthy pulmonary arteries of the lungs are elastic, whereas when PH is present, arteries stiffen and thicken leading to resistance when blood passes through vessels. People living with PH may experience shortness of breath, low oxygen levels, chest pain or pressure, near fainting or fainting, fatigue and palpitations.
There are many steps you can take to manage your disease, improve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Some straightforward steps include losing weight, quitting smoking and beginning an exercise routine. Depending on the underlying cause of your PH, your health care provider may also recommend medication, oxygen therapy or other treatments.