We generally think of hypertension, or high blood pressure, as primarily affecting the heart. Some types of hypertension affect different body symptoms. Pulmonary hypertension affects the lungs, as well as the right side of the heart, and depending on the severity, can worsen and even become fatal.

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Pulmonary hypertension causes the tiny arteries, or arterioles, and capillaries in your lungs to narrow, which can cause them to be blocked or destroyed. It becomes more difficult for blood to flow through the area, which causes the pressure in the arteries of the lungs to continue to increase. Without treatment, the lower right ventricle or chamber of the heart has to work harder to continue to supply blood flow to the lungs. This can ultimately lead to weakness or failure of the heart muscle.
The cause of pulmonary hypertension varies, and can include drug use, certain medications, genetic factors, heart disease, blood clots or disorders, and even obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


Pulmonary hypertension cannot be cured, but with treatment, many patients experience an increase in their quality of life. If the cause of pulmonary hypertension can be determined, then treating the underlying cause is important. Patients with OSA would need to have their sleep apnea treated, for example, and there are many medications available which can help the heart beat more strongly, open the narrowed arteries, or both.


To determine the best possible course of treatment for pulmonary hypertension, it's important to speak to Dr. Rahul Kakkar, pulmonary medicine specialist at Prana Health. With many years of experience and expertise in treating pulmonary hypertension as well as sleep disorders, Dr. Kakkar is ideally positioned to help those patients who have struggled with OSA, and believe that this may be factoring into their pulmonary hypertension.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.