Although there is no cure for primary pulmonary hypertension, treatment is a viable option for many people. There are several methods of treatment for pulmonary hypertension, including lifestyle changes, exercise, and medication. While these methods are effective, some do come with side effects, and the symptoms can last for years without a full recovery. Additionally, medication can be quite expensive, so many people turn to alternative methods of treatment.
In order to treat pulmonary hypertension, patients should begin treatment early. Prevention is crucial because some pulmonary hypertension symptoms may appear after an infection or other condition. A yearly flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine are both advised for people with pulmonary hypertension. In addition to preventing pulmonary hypertension, vaccines can help prevent serious respiratory infections. If the condition is discovered early enough, treatment may include surgery or other measures.
Among the medications available for pulmonary hypertension, a high-dose calcium channel blocker may be prescribed. These drugs relax the muscles of the blood vessels and improve the function of the heart and lungs. Those taking diuretics will usually have regular blood tests to monitor if they are causing bleeding or other complications. They also must avoid pregnancy or sexual activity if possible. Regardless of the method of treatment, the goal is to improve overall health.
The Mayo Clinic is conducting research to develop new tests and treatments for pulmonary hypertension. Patients may benefit from moderate exercise, as it can reduce the feeling of fatigue associated with the disease. Patients should not exercise excessively or perform heavy activities if they are on oxygen therapy. They should consult a physician for a program that is suitable for their specific needs and medical history. While moderate exercise is generally beneficial for people with pulmonary hypertension, heavy lifting may cause side effects, and should be avoided.