Pulmonary Hypertension is a condition that affects the arteries in your heart and lungs as a result of high blood pressure. PH can be caused by certain heart diseases such as congenital heart disease and aortic valve disease, thromboembolic disease, as well as blood clots forming in the large pulmonary artery. Pulmonary Hypertension is considered to be an invisible illness – a term that is used to describe any medical condition that is not outright obvious from an individuals’ appearance. With Pulmonary Hypertension, the lung’s arteries can become scarred and narrow, tight, and can lead to heart failure. This is why it is important to see your physician for regular check-ups, as they may be able to detect early signs of PH.
Dr. Ali Ghahary is a family physician practicing in the Greater Vancouver area and is available to see patients on a walk-in basis every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Click here to see his schedule and here for directions to Brentwood Medical Clinic.
Pulmonary Hypertension may not be noticeable in its early stages…sometimes not even for months or years. However, as the disease develops over time, the symptoms often become worse. These fatigue, shortness of breathe (even when you are resting), dizziness or fainting, chest pain, swelling of the ankles (also known as edema), racing heartbeat, and a blueish tint to the skin. Those who have a family history of PH, use illegal drugs or are overweight are at an increased risk of developing this condition. Complications can also arise as a result of Pulmonary Hypertension including blood clots, arrhythmia and bleeding – all of which can be fatal.
With today, May 5th, 2017, being World Pulmonary Hypertension Day, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada as well as other PH associations around the world are coming together on social media to help shed light on this condition. Several monuments across Canada will also be going purple in support of World PH Day, including BC Place in Vancouver. To learn more about Pulmonary Hypertension and how you can get further involved, visit http://www.phacanada.ca. Remember, you can also follow Dr. Ali Ghahary on Twitter at @DrAliGhahary.