One factor that can affect pulmonary hypertension is hot weather, as high temperatures can cause blood vessels to dilate and blood pressure to rise. In order to maintain your normal routine in hot weather, it’s important to learn how to keep your pulmonary artery pressure normal in the heat.
This article will discuss the pathophysiology, cause, symptoms, and treatments for pulmonary hypertension. We will also look at strategies for maintaining normal pulmonary artery pressure in hot weather and other general tips for managing pulmonary hypertension.
According to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, pulmonary hypertension is a rare and serious condition that affects the blood vessels in the lungs, causing blood pressure to become too high.
The blood vessels in the lungs, called pulmonary arteries, carry blood from the heart to the lungs.
In people with pulmonary hypertension, these arteries become narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow through them.
This increases the blood pressure in the lungs, leading to an increased workload on the right side of the heart. Over time, the right side of the heart may become damaged or weakened, leading to heart failure.
Pulmonary hypertension is caused by several conditions, including chronic lung diseases like emphysema and asthma, blood clots that block vessels in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, and certain inherited disorders of connective tissue. But some people with pulmonary hypertension have no known cause for their condition. These patients are said to have idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. In contrast, secondary pulmonary hypertension is caused by structural defects in the heart and lungs.
Pulmonary artery (PA) pressure is the pressure in your pulmonary arteries. Normal systolic PA pressure ranges from 15 to 25 mmHg, with an average of about 20 mmHg. However, the normal range can vary depending on your age, size, physical condition, and other factors such as altitude. If the PA pressure is greater than 25 mmHg at rest or 30 mmHg during physical activity, it is abnormally high and would be considered pulmonary hypertension. Your doctor may run some tests to measure your pulmonary artery pressure if you have symptoms such as shortness of breath or fatigue after exercise or when you are resting.
The symptoms of pulmonary hypertension vary depending on the severity of the disease. Mild pulmonary hypertension may not cause problems, while severe cases can be life threatening. Some symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include:
There are various pulmonary hypertension classifications. They are also known as pulmonary hypertension grading. Generally, pulmonary hypertension is classified into five categories based on the World Health Organization’s classification system:
Group 1: Pulmonary arterial hypertension
This is a progressive chronic disease that develops when something in your body causes your arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow through your lungs. This makes it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body. The causes of group 1 pulmonary hypertension include lung abnormalities, underlying diseases, and medications.
Group 2: Pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease
Group 3: Pulmonary hypertension due to lung diseases and hypoxia
This type of pulmonary hypertension is caused by conditions that affect the lungs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea. It can also be caused by low oxygen levels in the body, known as hypoxia.
Group 4: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
This type of pulmonary hypertension is caused by blood clots that block the arteries of the lungs. These blood clots can form as a result of the following:
Group 5: Pulmonary hypertension with unclear or multifactorial mechanisms
This category includes cases of pulmonary hypertension that cannot be classified into one of the other four categories. It may be caused by a combination of factors and may be difficult to diagnose.
Hot weather can make your body work harder to cool itself down. This means that your heart rate goes up, and you may breathe faster. This puts extra strain on your heart muscle and can make pulmonary hypertension worse.
If you have pulmonary hypertension, you should avoid strenuous exercise when it’s hot and humid outside.
If possible, stay indoors and keep cool in air conditioning when temperatures are high.
Here are some tips for managing pulmonary hypertension in hot weather:
Several medications are used to treat pulmonary hypertension. These medications have different actions, so your doctor may recommend one or more. Once on medications, pulmonary hypertension life expectancy may increase by about five years.
Some common pulmonary hypertension medications include:
There is a definite link between pulmonary hypertension and hot weather, and it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. If you have symptoms of pulmonary hypertension, it’s important to speak with your doctor immediately so they can help diagnose and classify your symptoms and provide adequate treatment options. Most pulmonary hypertension patients do not feel ill, even when experiencing symptoms. That is why you should take the necessary precautions to protect yourself in hot weather.