Treating Pulmonary Hypertension in New York and New Jersey

Sleep apnea is a disease that causes a person to repeatedly stop breathing for short periods while sleeping. In addition to making a patient feel tired throughout the day, sleep apnea can cause long-term cardiovascular and pulmonary health issues. In some patients, sleep apnea is an underlying cause of pulmonary hypertension, a rare but serious blood pressure disease.

Serving patients throughout New York and New Jersey, Northeast Insomnia and Sleep Medicine offers evaluation and treatment for pulmonary hypertension and other respiratory conditions. Learn more about symptoms and risk factors for pulmonary hypertension, as well as treatment options.

What Is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries between the lungs and the heart. This condition usually develops as a complication of heart or lung disease. Typically, pulmonary hypertension is grouped according to its underlying cause. The World Health Organization has categorized pulmonary hypertension into five groups:

  • Group 1: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
  • Group 2: Pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease
  • Group 3: Pulmonary hypertension due to lung disease
  • Group 4: Pulmonary hypertension due to chronic blood clots in the lungs
  • Group 5: Pulmonary hypertension due to other causes

Because the cause of pulmonary hypertension is not always clear, it can be difficult to prevent.

Risk Factors for Pulmonary Hypertension

Other health conditions, genetics, and environmental factors can raise a patient’s risk of developing pulmonary hypertension. Risk factors include:

  • Heredity: A family history of blood clots or pulmonary hypertension itself is associated with higher risk.
  • Lifestyle: Tobacco use, abusing recreational drugs, or taking certain diet medications can increase the risk of developing pulmonary hypertension.
  • Environment: Patients who live at higher altitudes have an increased risk of developing the disease.
  • Occupational hazards: Asbestos exposure is linked to pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension may develop at any age, but most patients are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60.

Pulmonary Hypertension Symptoms

Signs of pulmonary hypertension can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Feeling dizzy or fatigued
  • Swelling in the lower legs or ankles, known as edema

Because pulmonary hypertension symptoms are often similar to other lung conditions, it is important to see a doctor right away for an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosing Pulmonary Hypertension

Northeast Insomnia and Sleep Medicine offers diagnostic services and treatment for a range of pulmonary conditions. After reviewing the patient’s symptoms and medical history and completing a physical examination, several tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. These include:

  • Blood work
  • Imaging tests
  • Pulmonary function test
  • An overnight sleep test, known as polysomnography

Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension

There is no cure for pulmonary hypertension. Instead, the focus is on managing symptoms, improving quality of life, and slowing the progression of the disease. Treatment for pulmonary hypertension depends on the underlying causes and may include:

  • Medications to lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, or relax the pulmonary arteries
  • Oxygen therapy to help the patient sleep and improve blood oxygen levels
  • Surgery to widen the pulmonary artery or remove blood clots from the lungs

Lifestyle changes can also help with disease management. These include getting enough sleep, maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy weight, and eating a balanced diet.

Get in Touch with Northeast Insomnia and Sleep Medicine

Patients in New York and New Jersey can receive personalized care at Northeast Insomnia and Sleep Medicine. Under the leadership of Dr. Dosik Kim, M.D., F.C.C.P., our expert medical team treats a wide range of conditions linked to insomnia and sleep quality. In addition to pulmonary hypertension, patients can receive treatment for respiratory conditions including:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Dr. Kim takes the time to educate patients on different issues that affect sleep and explains treatment options and diagnostic services thoroughly. Northeast Insomnia and Sleep Medicine even has an onsite sleep lab at our care center on Staten Island. For more information, complete our new patient forms or contact us today.

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