Pulmonary arterial hypertension Causes and symptoms

If you thought blood pressure only affects your heart and brain, think again. Blood pressure is nothing but the pressure of blood flow in your system. Naturally, every organ will experience blood pressure, even your lungs.

So, if the organ that helps you breathe is affected by blood pressure, it’s definitely a cause for concern.

Here’s why.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare condition of the pulmonary arteries which carry blood to the lungs. The condition usually gets worse over time is not appropriately treated, and can be life-threatening. But accurate and timely diagnosis and treatments can help you live better with the disease. Although it may take some time to cope with the thought of having a lifelong trouble, people still manage to find ways to do all the things they love.

What is pulmonary arterial hypertension?

Pulmonary arterial hypertension refers to abnormally high blood pressure inside the blood vessels in your lungs. With PAH, smallest arteries in your lungs get blocked or narrowed. This arterial narrowing and blockage obstruct the blood from flowing, and that raises the blood pressure in the lungs.

PAH and the heart

The heart works much harder to force the blood through these arteries. Over time, the heart muscles become weak as a result. When blood doesn’t flow well, the body does not get enough oxygen, and can eventually lead to a heart failure.

Causes of pulmonary arterial hypertension

Sometimes it is difficult for the doctors to identify the right reason for high blood pressure in the lungs. This condition is known as idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. There is a possibility that genetic factors could play a role in some people with PAH.  You’re at the risk of developing pulmonary hypertension if:

  • You have a family history of the disease
  • You’re overweight
  • You take certain appetite-suppressant medicines
  • If you have it in the family
  • If you live at a high altitude

Symptoms of PAH: Pulmonary arterial hypertension

Many people don’t realise they have PAH for a long time before they figure out something wrong. The symptoms are usually subtle at the beginning with a feeling of fatigue. Other common symptoms as the problem increases are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or fainting spells
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in your ankles, legs
  • Swelling in your abdomen
  • Skin turning bluish around your lips
  • Heart palpitations

Pulmonary arterial hypertension can lead to:

Right-sided heart enlargement and heart failure: The right ventricle of the heart becomes enlarged. The heart muscle becomes weak and has to pump harder for the flood to flow freely.

Blood clots: Clots usually help to stop the bleeding after an injury. But sometimes clots develop in wrong places. A cluster of small clots travels to the lungs. This blocks the blood flow forming pulmonary hypertension which can be reversed with time and treatment.



Irregular heartbeats are complications of pulmonary hypertension. This can lead to even missing out on heartbeats as there are chances of having an extremely high heart rate. Irregular heartbeats also lead to dizziness or fainting.

Bleeding: Pulmonary arterial hypertension can lead to bleeding into the lungs and coughing blood. Bleeding into the lungs is also a potentially fatal complication of PAH.

With all the information above, and if you feel you are at risk of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension, you still stand a chance to manage it. Speak to your doctor or just knock our doors. We help you breathe well and live healthy!



Sai Sanjeevini Multi Speciality Hospitals, a unit of Singapanga Healthcare Pvt. Ltd has been providing health services to the people in need for the last 14 years. This health care organisation combines practical, proven research, cutting edge procedures and state-of-the-art treatment to produce excellent medical and lifestyle outcome for our patients. Our hospital and medical staff provide innovative medical care in a friendly, compassionate, community environment conducive to patient recuperation in a family atmosphere.

About The Doctor

Dr. M.Ravindranath is a reputed Pulmonologist in Hyderabad and has an experience of 12 years in this field. Dr. M.Ravindranath practices at Hyderabad Chest Clinic in Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad and Sai Sanjeevini Hospitals in Kothapet, Hyderabad. His knowledge of pulmonology has made him one of the best in the city and most patients visit him and go home, happy. So Book your Appointment now.