Pulmonary Heart Disease

Pulmonary Heart Disease occurs when the heart is damaged due to problems with the respiratory system.

The right side of the heart supplies blood to the lungs, so if the supply is restricted, then this side of the heart has to work harder to compensate for the decreased blood flow.

This leads to the right ventricle becoming enlarged as the muscle grows due to the extra exertion. This can lead to Congestive Heart Failure.

There are 2 possible causes:

1) The pulmonary artery becomes blocked (Pulmonary Embolism), normally due to a blood clot.

The likely symptoms will be breathing difficulty and chest pain. This will be treated with a “clot busting” drug that will dissolve the blood clot and free up the artery.

2) As a consequence of a respiratory disease (e.g. bronchitis or

Cigarette Heart

emphysema) where the airways are permanently constricted which requires the heart to work harder.

This situation is called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and is NOT reversible. The predominate cause is smoking (90% of people with pulmonary heart disease are smokers).

Diagnosis is normally from a combination of the symptoms, the patients smoking history, and a physical examination which will include a lung capacity tests.

There is no direct treatment. The only way to treat it, is to remove the cause. However this is not possible if the cause is COPD.

The effects can be managed by drugs and lifestyle changes, which will slow down the deterioration of the heart muscle and delay the later stages of Congestive Heart Failure. Oxygen therapy may help some patients

It’s Your Heart. It’s Your Life.

It’s Your Choice.

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