Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a condition that affects the blood vessels in, and leading to the lungs. In PAH, the affected arteries become narrow, making it harder for blood to flow through them. This puts extra pressure on the heart, making it work harder for the same output, and leading to various symptoms.

PAH can be tricky to diagnose because its symptoms are general and can be mistaken for other conditions. People with PAH often feel very tired, have trouble breathing, and may notice swelling in their legs. In some cases, lips and hands can turn a bluish color due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. These symptoms can be subtle and might not immediately suggest a problem with the lungs or heart.

PAH is a serious condition, but with proper diagnosis and management, people with PAH can lead fulfilling lives. It’s important for individuals experiencing these symptoms to seek medical attention, especially if they persist or worsen over time.

Symptoms may include:
• Fatigue
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of the feet, legs and abdomen
• Heart palpitations (racing or pounding)
• Lips and fingers turning blue

A. Narrowing of pulmonary vessel, carrying blood to the lungs
B. To lungs (not oxygenated)
C. From lungs (oxygenated)
D. Thickening of the heart muscles, resulting from the backed up pressure in the blood vessels

E. Pulmonary artery in cross section
F. Healthy vessel
G. Narrowed vessel

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