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Pulmonary Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms & More

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nitin Jadhav, MBBS

Pulmonary Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms & More

What Is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension, also known as PH or PHTN, is one of the types of high blood pressure in which the blood pressure is higher than usual in the arteries present in your lungs and heart.

In Pulmonary High Blood Pressure, termed as pulmonary arterial hypertension, your pulmonary (lungs) blood vessels become narrow and constricted or clogged/damaged. Due to this condition, the blood circulation through the lungs slows down while increasing the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. As a result, it becomes quite difficult for your heart to pump the blood. It eventually leads to the weakening and failure of your heart muscles.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pulmonary Hypertension?

As far as the signs and symptoms of high pulmonary pressures are concerned, in most cases, these develop gradually and can go unnoticed for years. With the progression of the disease, the symptoms might get worse. Here are the typical telltale signs of pulmonary high blood pressure

  • Shortness of breath while exercising (and even at rest with the progression of the condition)Shortness of breath while exercising (and even at rest with the progression of the condition)
  • Dizziness and fatigueDizziness and fatigue
  • Pain in chestPain in chest
  • A feeling of pressure in the chestA feeling of pressure in the chest
  • Bluish colouration of lipsBluish colouration of lips
  • Swelling-in-legs-and-anklesSwelling in legs and ankles
  • Heart palpitationsHeart palpitations

What Are The Causes Of Pulmonary Hypertension?

Here are some of the main causes of pulmonary hypertension:

  • Formation of Blood Clots in the lungsFormation of Blood Clots in the lungs
  • HIV InfectionHIV Infection
  • Substance AbuseSubstance Abuse
  • Congestive Heart FailureCongestive Heart Failure
  • Liver CirrhosisLiver Cirrhosis
  • Congenital Heart DefectCongenital Heart Defect
  • Chronic BronchitisChronic Bronchitis
  • Pulmonary FibrosisPulmonary Fibrosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases, like Scleroderma, Lupus, and Rheumatoid ArthritisAutoimmune Diseases, like Scleroderma, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea

What Are The Risk Factors For Pulmonary Hypertension?

Following factors can increase your risk of developing pulmonary high blood pressure.

  • AgeingAgeing
  • Living in areas of high altitudesFamily medical history of PH
  • Being obese or overweightBeing obese or overweight
  • Blot-clot conditionsBlot-clot conditions
  • Substance abuseSubstance abuse
  • Certain genetic deformitiesCertain genetic deformities
  • Asbestos exposureAsbestos exposure
  • Living in areas of high altitudesLiving in areas of high altitudes
  • Taking certain antidepressantsTaking certain antidepressants
  • Taking certain drugs for weight lossTaking certain drugs for weight loss

What Are The Complications Of Pulmonary Hypertension?

The health complications that can arise due to pulmonary hypertension include the following:

  • Enlargement Of The Heart (right-sided) And Heart Failure:

    Enlargement Of The Heart (right-sided) And Heart FailureIn this condition, the right ventricle of your heart enlarges and needs to work harder to circulate blood through the clogged arteries of the lungs. Initially, the walls of your heart become thick to compensate and expand the right ventricle’s chamber to increase the blood-holding capacity. However, it eventually puts more strain on your heart leading to heart failure.

  • Formation Of Blood Clots:

    Formation Of Blood Clots You are more likely to develop blood clots in your lungs’ small arteries due to pulmonary hypertension. It can be quite dangerous if your blood vessels are already blocked or have become narrow.

  • Arrhythmia:

    Arrhythmia PH can lead to arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats, followed by episodes of fainting and dizziness. In some cases, arrhythmia can be severe and even life-threatening.

  • Complications With Pregnancy:

    Complications with pregnancyPH can be risky for the mother as well as her baby.


In many cases, Pulmonary Hypertension can get worse and life-threatening with time. Therefore, medical intervention is a must. Although some types of pulmonary high blood pressure are not entirely curable, on-time treatment can help to relieve the symptoms while improving your quality of life. Therefore, you should check with your doctor from time to time and follow the instructions.

Note of Caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health-related problems.

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