Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonology Group LLC

Pulmonology, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Specialists located in Las Vegas Area, Henderson, NV & Bullhead City, AZ

Pulmonary hypertension can progressively develop for years before you begin to experience symptoms. That’s why it’s important to see Vikas Sayal, MD, FCCP, at Pulmonology Group LLC Lung Specialist as soon as you develop problems, such as shortness of breath and fatigue. Dr. Sayal has extensive experience providing treatment that helps manage your symptoms and improves your quality of life. To learn more about pulmonary hypertension or to schedule an appointment, call the office in Henderson, Nevada, or book an appointment online.

Pulmonary Hypertension Q & A

What causes pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that occurs in the arteries that deliver blood to your lungs. The problem usually begins with inflammation in the artery lining, which makes the artery tighten and narrow. As a result, blood can’t flow smoothly through your lungs, and pressure increases.

High blood pressure can affect the pulmonary artery, which is the blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your lungs. Pulmonary hypertension may also develop in the small arteries (arterioles) that carry blood throughout your lungs.

As your body tries to overcome the decreased blood flow in your lungs, the right ventricle of the heart works harder to push blood into the pulmonary artery. Over time, the overworked heart muscles become weak and begin to fail.

In many cases, the underlying cause is unknown. However, pulmonary hypertension may arise from:

  • Lung conditions, such as COPD and interstitial lung disease
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • HIV
  • Blood clots
  • Heart disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • An inherited disorder or genetic defect

Certain medications and toxins, as well as a variety of health conditions, can also contribute to pulmonary hypertension.

What symptoms might I develop due to pulmonary hypertension?

The symptoms of pulmonary hypertension develop gradually over years. When they begin to appear, you’ll experience problems such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain or a feeling of pressure
  • Swelling in your ankles and legs
  • Bluish color to your lips and skin
  • Fast, fluttering, or pounding heartbeat 

At first, you may only have shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you’re active. As the disease worsens, dyspnea also occurs while at rest.

How is pulmonary hypertension treated?

Specialized tests such as pulmonary function testing are often needed to accurately diagnose pulmonary hypertension. There’s currently no cure for the problem, but Dr. Sayal can help manage your symptoms with:

Medications

Blood thinners help blood flow more freely, while diuretics eliminate excess fluids and reduce swelling and pressure. A variety of medications can improve the heart’s ability to pump blood, while others decrease pressure in pulmonary arteries.

Oxygen therapy

If your pulmonary hypertension is due to lung disease, such as COPD, or is the result of sleep apnea, you may benefit from oxygen therapy to raise blood levels of oxygen.

Any time you experience symptoms associated with pulmonary hypertension, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Sayal by calling Pulmonology Group LLC Lung Specialist or using the online booking feature.