High blood pressure not only attacks the body as a whole, but can also affect the lungs. High blood pressure in the pulmonary vessels is known as pulmonary hypertension. Although this disease is still rare, according to data from the Indonesian Lung Hypertension Foundation (YHPI) the mortality rate is higher when compared with breast and colorectal cancer.
What is pulmonary hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension is a condition that occurs when blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs (pulmonary artery) is too high. Pulmonary arteries are blood vessels that carry less oxygen and are rich in carbon dioxide from the right chambers of the heart.
This high blood pressure occurs because the pulmonary artery is narrowed or thickened. As a result, the right heart works very hard to pump blood towards the lungs. When the pressure increases, the right ventricle of the heart must work harder to pump blood through the lungs. If left unchecked, this condition makes the heart muscle weaken and can lead to heart failure.
In adults, this disease is usually characterized by shortness of breath which is unknown and does not go away. While in children, in addition to being characterized by shortness of breath is usually indicated by continuous coughing and stunted growth.
"In Indonesia alone, this disease most affects patients with congenital heart disease," said Dr. Lucia Kris Dinarti Sp.PD., Sp.JP, Lung hypertension expert at Sardjito Hospital, Yogyakarta when met at a dialogue initiated by the Indonesian Lung Hypertension Foundation (YHPI) in South Jakarta, Monday (24/9).
Can pulmonary hypertension be cured?
According to Prof. Dr. dr. Bambang Budi Siswanto, Sp.JP (K), Fascc, FAPSC, FACC., Pulmonary hypertension expert from Harapan Kita Hospital, pulmonary hypertension is basically a disease that cannot be cured completely. Especially if it has entered a stage that is quite severe.
"This disease is not a stand-alone condition, but a result of certain diseases. Therefore, the treatment must be comprehensive should not only treat hypertension alone. While people who come to the doctor usually enter the severe phase so that it is difficult to treat, "said Prof. Bambang Budi in a dialogue about pulmonary hypertension in South Jakarta, Monday (9/24).
Therefore, Prof. Bambang Budi stressed that the treatment provided by the doctor was aimed at reducing the severity of the symptoms. For this reason, people with this health problem need to take medication for the rest of their lives so that their condition remains stable.
"Although it cannot be cured, treatment is done to improve the quality of life and extend life expectancy. That way, I hope patients can remain productive through their days, "he explained.
What needs to be done to prevent this disease?
Because most cases of pulmonary hypertension occur due to certain diseases, then what needs to be done is to routinely conduct medical check-ups.
"By checking health regularly, diseases that have the potential to cause pulmonary hypertension can be detected early. That way, doctors can do various related treatments to prevent the severity of the condition in the future, "explained Prof. Bambang Budi.
Besides that, both Prof. Bambang Budi and Dr. Lucia Kris states that you also need to be sensitive to the signals the body gives. In this disease, the initial symptoms that usually need to be watched out for are shortness of breath. Usually this condition occurs without a specific reason and lasts for quite a long time and continues to recur. If you have this, you need to immediately consult your condition to the doctor for further examination.
In addition, another thing you can do to prevent this one disease is to avoid inbreeding. The reason is that marriage has various risks such as:
- Children born with serious congenital defects.
- Inherit the same disease.
- A weakened immune system due to lack of DNA variation.
So that having a blood marriage can increase the risk of pulmonary hypertension, especially if the family has hereditary congenital heart disease and a range of other risk conditions.
- Get to know treatment for pulmonary hypertension
- Various Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension that Must Be Cautioned
- 9 Tips to Help Children Who Have Congenital Heart Disease
- Congenital Heart Disease in Pregnant Women