Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

The symptoms for all types of pulmonary hypertension (PH) may be similar and symptoms usually become more severe as the disease progresses. Symptoms can develop so slowly that patients can have PH for years without knowing it. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of PH may include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain (also called angina pectoris)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (also called syncope)
  • Loss of energy
  • Swelling of the arms, legs, ankles or abdomen (also called edema)
  • Dry cough
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (chalky white or dusky blue fingers that may be painful and can sometimes be provoked by the cold)

In advanced stages of PH, minimal activity may produce some or all of these symptoms. Patients in advanced stages may also experience irregular heartbeat, a racing pulse, passing out and difficulty breathing at rest. The symptoms of PH can mimic other conditions or medical problems. Many people ignore symptoms because they think they are simply out of shape.

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Related Resources

Pulmonary Hypertension: Pulmonary hypertension can occur in children and adults. Learn more about the causes and symptoms.