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November is PH?Awareness Month

November 20, 2010
Estherville News

Pulmonary Hypertension (PH), the other high blood pressure, is a simplified name for continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery in the lungs. These high pressures cause the heart to enlarge and lot its ability to pump. PH is a rare and incurable disease. Primary symptoms are: shortness of breath, fainting, fatigue, chest pain and swollen ankles and feet. Many people may have PH without knowing it or have been misdiagnosed with illnesses such as asthma or bronchitis, delaying proper treatment.

In the early 1990s, the mortality rate for people with PH was approximately two years. Since then and because of extensive search and more treatment options, the mortality rate has increased as much as 20 years.

The lives of people with PH completely change. Simple everyday chores become almost impossible to do. Walking distance or up stairs or inclines can cause shortness of breath and/or chronic fatigue. Some patients live with 24/7 oxygen therapy. PH patients are at a high risk for developing depression because of the overwhelming physical and emotional challenges that they must face. Some even go through a "grieving process" because of the major life changes they may be faced with.

Awareness moth is about prompting connections between medical professionals who are not familiar with PH and experts in the field. This connection can increase the changes of PH being diagnosed earlier giving PH patients a better chance of a longer healthier life.

To learn more about PH visit www.PHAssociation.org.

Dixie Iverson

 
 

 

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