Thursday, April 5, 2012
Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, and also mark safe entries to harbors, to give hope in a dangerous situation. They act as guideposts for ships at night or in a storm. They are a beacon of hope.
That’s what those with pulmonary hypertension need – a beacon of hope; hope for a cure; hope for a better life; to see light shining through in times of turmoil. Our ph specialists will guide us through those storms of uncertainties and lead us to that beacon of hope; whether it be with proper treatment, more research or advanced awareness. Unfortunately, too many doctors still do not know or understand what pulmonary hypertension is and it can be present in all ages from infant to seniors. It does not discriminate with being a male or female or ethnic background but is most common in woman of child bearing years.
Symptoms of PH may include: Shortness of breath with minimal exertion, chest pain, unusual fatigue, a dry cough, edema, heart palpitations, fainting and dizzy spells.
The 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 may lead to heart failure. It can be a silent killer but can also be treatable and therefore prolong your life. Studies show that most patients experience a one to two year delay between the onset of symptoms and a confirmed diagnosis of PH.
Symptoms range in severity and a given patient may not have all of the symptoms. PH may be secondary to other contributing diseases or there can be no known cause. Untreated, however, PH can have a worse prognosis than many forms of cancer. Did you know lung disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., responsible for one of every seven deaths?
People with PH before realizing what they have, often go to a doctor complaining of shortness of breath and unusual fatigue. If they are overweight or getting a bit older, their doctors may tell them to lose some weight and get more exercise.
That is why it is often misdiagnosed or overlooked as a lung disorder or as a complication of a large number of respiratory or cardiac disease disorders.
Remember, with proper treatment you can maintain a somewhat normal life and many have been known to go back to their regular routine. It is scary but it is also doable. It is a lung / heart disease so we need to take care of both.
Remember to smile - they are contagious
And focus on that light.