When a person is diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, it means that the arteries supplying blood to the lungs are affected due to which blood pressure in these arteries increases. This is a potentially life-threatening condition, and most people diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension do not have good prognosis.
Generally, the symptoms for the condition do not appear immediately and can take a couple of years to become noticeable. This has an effect on the type of treatment that the doctor can use which, in turn, affects the life span of the patient. Nonetheless, it has been observed that the life span for pulmonary hypertension is around three years after the diagnosis is made.
However, in patients that do not seek treatment for the condition, the life span is much shorter. It has been seen that the rate of mortality in patients who do not get appropriate treatment is 68 percent within the first year of the disease, 48 percent within three years of the disease and 34 percent within the five years of the disease developing. However, with advanced medical technology now available, it is possible to increase a patient's life span for ten years.
Treatment for pulmonary hypertension is dependent on the stage the disease was diagnosed. The sooner it is diagnosed, the higher the life span will be of the person. If a person is suffering from primary pulmonary hypertension, the life span of the person can be extended by 20 percent through the use of calcium channel blockers. These medications help to dilate the blood vessels of the lungs and facilitate smooth flow of the blood. This reduces the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. In most severe cases, doctors look to improve quality of life. This means giving the patient oxygen to reduce shortness of breath and other symptoms of the disease. The patient may be advised to have complete bed rest and not exert himself/herself.
However, doctors claim that it is impossible to predict the life span of pulmonary hypertension patients, as many may respond positively to the treatment. If this happens, the life span and survival rate increases.
If you have a family history of hypertension or pulmonary hypertension, it is best to visit a doctor and request for a complete checkup even if you have no symptoms. The tests will reveal whether you are suffering from pulmonary hypertension. If so, appropriate treatment can be given immediately. This will improve your prognosis.
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