Pulmonary hypertension or PH is a progressive disease of the lung. This type of hypertension is a bit rare but it is very severe. Before we go any further about pulmonary hypertension life expectancy, let me tell you what is pulmonary hypertension actually?
In very easy words, pulmonary hypertension means abnormal high blood pressure through the pulmonary arteries. Now, what is this pulmonary artery?
We all know what an artery is. The artery is the blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the whole body. The pulmonary artery is the artery of the lungs. The function of the pulmonary artery is just the inverse of the artery. The pulmonary artery carries oxygen-containing blood from the heart to the lungs.
When, due to some reasons or without any reason the blood pressure of this pulmonary artery increases in a high amount, the problem caused is called pulmonary arterial hypertension or pulmonary hypertension.
Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension
PH does not show any symptoms at first or the affected person do not feel that he is suffering from this disease. The symptoms begin to come up after a few days or even months. The most common symptoms among them are given below:
- Shortness of breath
- Angina (pain in the chest)
- Swelling of ankles, legs, abdomen
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty in breathing
Other problems caused by pulmonary hypertension
An interesting thing about PH is that it does not kill the patient directly. Rather, it causes or creates other major and severe diseases in the patient’s body which could be fatal for the patient. The diseases caused by pulmonary hypertension are most likely heart failure, myocardial infarction (heart attack), bronchitis, lower respiratory disease, emphysema, etc. so, diagnosing PH quickly and taking necessary measures is very important to ensure the patient’s survival.
There is no treatment or cure for pulmonary hypertension. YES! It is true. Till this day, there is no cure for or PH is being discovered. I have said earlier that this disease is progressive. The older you and the disease gets, the more this disease will affect you.
PH cannot be fully cured as there is no cure invented until today. But, it can be contained. Todays improved diagnostic techniques give you a far better, faster and accurate diagnosis.
Among all the types of pulmonary hypertension, there is one type of PH can be cured fully by surgery. Its name is Group 4 pulmonary hypertension which also called as Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). It is the one and only type PH that has a cure or can be cured.
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) is caused by blood clotting in the pulmonary arteries. By undergoing the pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) surgery (also known as pulmonary endarterectomy) the surgeon can remove the blood clots from the arteries and ensure normal blood circulation to the heart. After performing this surgery in almost all of the cases, the disease fully cures.
Pulmonary hypertension life expectancy
The life expectancy of PH patients is increasing day by day. This is because the diagnosis of this disease is improving by the advancement of technology.
Pulmonary hypertension was first identified in 1891. At that time the mortality rate from PH was very high. But, nowadays, the mortality rate is either very low or the total surviving time of a patient suffering from pulmonary hypertension is much more than that.
The life span of a patient suffering from this disease is now 5-7 years on average. But, if the disease is not treated, the life expectancy of the patient without any treatment is 2.8 years on average. Early diagnosis and treatment of this disease can not only improve the life expectancy of the patient but it can also improve his or her quality of life. This is why if any of those symptoms given above or any other complication is felt, the person should immediately go to an expert doctor and take his consultation.
Though PH suffering patients have 68% chance of living once the primary year of identification, and also the probabilities decrease to 34% four years later, according to Ohio State University respiratory organ Center, early identification is essential in increasing the pulmonary hypertension life expectancy.