Pulmonary Hypertension - Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?

Many people with pulmonary hypertension may have no symptoms at all, especially if the disease is mild or in the early stages.

Pulmonary hypertension symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath that worsens with activity
  • Other common complaints are cough, fatigue, dizziness, and lethargy.
  • With the advancement of the condition and ensuing right heart failure, shortness of breath may become worse and retention of fluid in the body may increase (due to failure of the heart to pump blood forward) resulting in swelling the legs.
  • People may also complain of chest pain and angina.
  • Depending on the underlying associated disease, pulmonary artery hypertension can have other manifestations. For example, characteristic skin changes seen in scleroderma, or the signs of liver disease seen in portopulmonary hypertension.

Signs of pulmonary hypertension may include:

  • Rapid breathing, hypoxia (low oxygen level in the blood), and swelling in the legs.
  • In severe pulmonary hypertension, the health care professional may hear louder than normal components of heart sounds when he or she listens to the heart with a stethoscope (auscultation).
  • The doctor may also feel elevation of the chest wall when the heart pumps and this may indicate enlargement of the right side of the heart suggestive of pulmonary hypertension (right ventricular heave).
Return to Pulmonary Hypertension

See what others are saying

Comment from: Winnie, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 16

My son had heart failure at 6 months of age. He was born at 31 weeks, only kept on oxygen for 24hours. Send home at 34 weeks he struggled to feed, I spent hours feeding him. I feel so guilty because I thought he was not right, yet the doctor kept telling me he was fine. I knew he found it hard to breathe when feeding, yet doctor kept telling me he was ok. I took him to the hospital and was told he was having heart failure. He was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH). He's 2 and a half, was on oxygen for a year. Now only when needed, saying that seems quite often. He takes medicines etc., yet has never seen a doctor about his P. I just don't seem to get any answers, doctor says he doesn't have PH, so what does he have! Any time we fly he needs oxygen, how can he be sure my child doesn't have PH.

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Comment from: Samantha, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I'm 44 and I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2011 during my pregnancy. I'm in the mid-advanced stage. For the first two years of it I felt horrible. I gained so much upper body weight. I couldn't walk from my bedroom out to my car without having severe shortness of breath. I would sweat so much it literally dripped off me. I felt like I was literally dying. My pulmonologist put me on a medication called Opsumit, Lasix, Coreg, and warfarin. And oxygen as needed. I feel so much better. I can do almost anything, just like I used to. I still need to lose the weight.

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