Best Life: Spotting the signs of pulmonary hypertension

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:45 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Pulmonary hypertension is a disease that affects the blood vessels in the lungs. The symptoms of this disease during the initial stages are common to many other medical conditions such as difficulty breathing and feeling fatigued. With no current cure, this can make finding treatments and the possibility of improved quality of life even more difficult.

The cases of pulmonary hypertension are rising, but the lack of education on the disease is causing some serious concerns among medical experts.

“People often don’t get discovered till very late when their hearts are already starting to fail,” explained Raymond Benza, MD, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Young women of their childbearing age or people who have scleroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV, have a higher risk of developing the disease. And when found in men it’s even more deadly. If you have asthma, COPD or emphysema, or if you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, swelling in your ankles, legs and abdomen and a racing pulse, you may want to get screened for pulmonary hypertension.

“Twenty years ago, there was no treatment and people died from this disease. Now, we have over 20 drugs to treat this disease,” continued Benza.

Spotting signs early can get your health on track before it’s too late.

Benza said recent effective screening techniques are helping those in the medical industry identify people with the disease much earlier on. He said this is also why the number of those diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension has risen because doctors are getting better at discovering it than they were in the past.

Contributors to this news report include: Jenna Ehrlich, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

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