Often misunderstood; the severity of Pulmonary Hypertension is not recognized by many who associate PH with common high blood pressure instead of a distinct and grave illness.
Symptoms may include: Shortness of breath with minimal exertion, chest pain, unusual fatigue, a dry cough, edema, heart palpitations, fainting and dizzy spells. This disease, described as "progressive and fatal", causes blood vessels in the lungs to thicken, restricting blood flow therefore making the right side of the heart overwork and lead to heart failure. It can be a silent killer.
Since the damaged heart is unable to perform its pumping function in an effective manner, it will lead to a disturbance in the pulmonary circulation process, which eventually leads to develop unusually high pressure in the pulmonary veins. Since the pressure in the pulmonary veins rises, it bounces back to the pulmonary arteries and will cause some or all of the above mentioned symptoms.
Pulmonary hypertension is a very serious condition, one that should be assessed and treated as early as possible, and the doctor should be continuously checking back to make sure that the proper therapy is being used and working properly.
I. PH patients in this category have no symptoms during ordinary physical activity, their hearts function normally.
II. Although these patients are comfortable at rest, ordinary physical activity is somewhat limited by undue breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue, or near fainting.
III. These PH patients usually have no symptoms at rest, but their physical activity is greatly limited by breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue, or near fainting while doing routine things.
IV. These PH patients are often breathless and tired even while resting and can't do any physical activity without symptoms. They show signs of right-heart failure. Under the WHO system anyone who is prone to fainting goes into this class.