Pulmonary hypertension (PH), or high blood pressure in the lungs’ blood vessels, is a serious and disabling condition that can progress rapidly if not properly identified and treated. The hallmark symptom of PH is shortness of breath (dyspnea). As the disease progresses, other symptoms may include dizziness and fainting, chest pain during exercise, increased heart rate, cough, and swelling in the lower extremities. Today’s post provides some key information about pulmonary hypertension from Dr. Aaron Waxman, Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program – the only program in Massachusetts to be accredited by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 29, 2016
Posted by Blog Administrator May 14, 2012
It’s a feeling we’ve all had while running to catch the train or bus, pushing too hard at the gym, or suffering from a bad chest cold. But, some people experience shortness of breath almost daily and can’t seem to figure out why.
Occasional dyspnea, or shortness of breath, is common and often is the result of overexertion or a temporary respiratory infection, but chronic (or recurring) dyspnea can greatly affect quality of life and limit participation in activities that many people enjoy.
Because chronic dyspnea can be attributed to a wide range of conditions, from asthma to heart failure, its cause can be difficult to pinpoint, explains Dr. Aaron Waxman, a pulmonologist and director of the Dyspnea Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“If someone is regularly experiencing shortness of breath after exercise, or continues to have shortness of breath after treatment, an evaluation with a specialist who has expertise in dyspnea and its underlying causes is warranted,” says Dr. Waxman.