What is pulmonary hypertension (PH)?
When someone has PH, their arteries look
like the little straw instead of the big straw,
so the heart has to push a lot harder to
move the blood through the artery.
Pulmonary is another word for lungs. The lungs are the organs that provide your body with the oxygen that it needs to function properly.
Hypertension is a word that means high blood pressure.
What is Blood Pressure?
Your blood carries oxygen all over your body by traveling through tubes called arteries and veins. As the blood travels through the arteries and veins in your body, it pushes against the walls of the artery or vein. Doctors can learn a lot by measuring how hard the blood is pushing against the walls of the arteries and veins. This is called blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure and PH
When someone has PH, the arteries in their lungs and the right side of their heart don’t relax enough to let the blood pass easily through, so the blood pushes against the walls more and the blood pressure is higher.
This makes the heart work extra hard to pump blood through the arteries. Because the heart has to work harder, it can start to become tired, especially during exercise or other physical activities.
Having PH might make someone feel...
- Out of breath
- Like their chest hurts
These are called symptoms. Symptoms can be clues that help the doctors figure out what’s going on inside someone’s body.
Learn more about the tests doctors use to decide if someone has PH: