Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is simply an elevation in the pressure in the arteries of the lungs. Many diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), lung diseases, diastolic heart failure, and diseases of the left heart can cause the pressures in the pulmonary arteries to rise but this does not mean you have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a disease of the blood vessels of the lungs meaning these vessels have changed causing the elevation in pressure. In pulmonary hypertension, the elevation of the pressures is caused by another disease, the blood vessels themselves are not the problem.
I have PAH. Do you have questions? Is there a Mayo Clinic in your area? Check with them if you do. You need a good Pulmonary Specialist. Take it slow and try to stay positive. Have a breathe easy day
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It is important to distinguish between pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension because treatments used for pulmonary arterial hypertension will not help and may even harm patients that do not have PAH. The treatment for pulmonary hypertension is to treat whichever disease is causing the elevation of pressures. For example, if the patient has severe sleep apnea causing the elevation in pulmonary artery pressures, they will be prescribed therapy such as a CPAP mask and machine. Once the sleep apnea is adequately treated, the pressures in their pulmonary arteries will most likely have decreased. While some tests such as echocardiograms may estimate the pulmonary artery pressures are elevated, the right heart catheterization is the only definitive test to officially diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
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