Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and dizziness or fainting spells, according to Mayo Clinic. Individuals may also experience swelling in the legs, ankles and abdomen.
People with pulmonary hypertension may also experience a racing pulse or heart palpitations and a blush color to the skin or lips, explains Mayo Clinic. In the early stages of the condition, many symptoms are not necessarily noticeable and may gradually develop and worsen over a period of months or years. The condition can be fatal if symptoms are not treated by a medical professional.
Pulmonary hypertension occurs when the arteries in the lungs become blocked, narrowed or destroyed, according to Mayo Clinic. As a result, it is more difficult for blood to flow through the lungs, which ultimately raises a person's blood pressure. High blood pressure forces the heart's lower right chamber to work harder while pumping blood through the lungs, which eventually causes heart muscles to weaken and potentially fail.
The condition is a serious illness that gradually worsens and can be fatal, Mayo Clinic explains. A cure doesn't exist as of July 2015, but physicians focus treatment on lessening the effects of symptoms that can improve the quality of life for patients with pulmonary hypertension.