A rare disease, pulmonary hypertension progresses rapidly when not detected early.
As Dr. Diana Guerrero explains, this condition affects the heart and the lungs. “The pulmonary arteries become narrow. As a result, the right side of the heart has to pump harder. This can lead to heart failure, which very common when the condition goes untreated,” Dr. Guerrero states.
Detecting the symptoms on time is essential. The earlier a diagnosis can be made and the sooner the respective treatment can be administered, the greater chances patients have for survival and their quality of life will not have to be affected.
As pneumologist Claudio Villaquirán from Hospital Universitario San Ignacio explains, because it is so common to be unfamiliar with the symptoms, it often takes some time to diagnose the disease. She further states, “It can take up to 3 years to diagnose a patient with pulmonary arterial hypertension. This is because of the lack of knowledge about the disease among medical providers and because its symptoms can be confused with other medical conditions.”
Be aware of any or several of the following symptoms:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Chest pain
- Accelerated heart rate
- Difficulty breathing during regular daily activities such as going up the stairs
- Shortness of breath and occasional chocking sensation
- Lack of appetite