Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Introduction

Blood pressure is measured by the pressure of blood flow throughout the body, which means inside every organ, there is a level of blood pressure. Our lungs are no different. Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension is triggered by high blood pressure inside the heart.

Treating PAH requires proper awareness, education and exposure to the available treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension and the potential complications that can occur. If diagnosed in time, it helps you manage the problem better in the long run.

Treating pulmonary arterial hypertension

Treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension are mostly confined to providing relief. They do not completely cure it. However, there are many treatments for PAH, with a number of combinations. The symptoms are usually individual will depend on a number of factors, including the exact cause of PAH in a person and the severity of the symptoms.

Treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension include:

  • Anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin prevent blood clots from forming.
  • Diuretics or better known as water tablets that remove excess fluid from the body which is caused due to heart failure.
  • Inhaling air containing a higher concentration of oxygen than usual is another treatment that is commonly used, and is one of the most effective treatments for PAH.
  • Digoxin is a medicine from the foxglove plant which helps the heartbeat stronger, and pumps more blood. Digoxin can control the heart rate if you have a history of arrhythmias.

Drugs and medications can definitely help to a great extent. But there are other treatments that pose as better options in severe cases. Let’s glance at the surgical options.

Atrial septostomy: When medications fail to control your pulmonary hypertension, atrial septostomy is one of the options that you'd need to choose. Atrial septostomy is open-heart surgery. In an atrial septostomy, the surgeon creates an opening between the upper left and right chambers of your heart to relieve pressure on the right side of your heart. Like there are risks to other treatments as well Atrial septostomy can also have some serious complications like complicated arrhythmias.

Lung transplantation: A lung transplant or heart-lung transplant is another option that could be an option. A lung transplant is mostly done for younger people who experience idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

A glance at major risks of transplants

  • Major risks of lung transplantation include rejection of the transplanted organ and can also cause serious infection.
  • In such cases, immunosuppressive drugs are given to sustain the person's life and to help reduce the chances of rejection.

Treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension provide immediate relief to the person, but managing is again a technique you will have to learn and apply as need be. Living with pulmonary hypertension is quite a challenge. It may not cure the problem of the roots, but can definitely be treated to comfort.

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