Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a serious and life-threatening cardiovascular disease that results in increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. For those with PH, learning how to care for their hearts can be vitally important in managing their symptoms and improving their wellbeing.
Small Steps to Manage PH
Several small changes to your lifestyle can have a powerful impact on helping you maintain your health with pulmonary hypertension:
- Eat a balanced diet.
Healthy dietthat is low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol can help manage PH.
exercise. Incorporate physical activities that are tailored to your individual needs and medical condition. Exercise can help maintain your energy level and improve your quality of life.
- Reduce stress. Identify and target the sources of stress in your life and take steps to manage your stress levels.
- Get plenty of sleep. Set a consistent bedtime and stick to it. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and don’t rely on stimulants like caffeine to help you stay awake.
- Take prescribed medications as directed. Talk to your doctor about any changes or adjustments in medications you may need.
Take Care of Your Lungs
People with PH may experience signs of pulmonary edema, including difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest pain. The lungs play an important part in PH care, so it is important to pay attention to any changes in your breathing. Maintaining good lung health is essential for managing PH. Here are a few tips to improve lung health:
smoking. Smoking can damage the lungs and worsen pulmonary hypertension.
- Avoid second-hand smoke. Exposure to pollutants, chemicals, and second-hand smoke can worsen your condition.
- Stay warm. In cold temperatures, your airways can become constricted and make breathing difficult.
- Use humidifiers. Dry air can irritate your airways, so using a humidifier can help keep the air moisture levels high.
Managing Emotional Health
Living with a chronic condition like PH can have an emotional toll. Fatigue and depression can worsen your symptoms, so it is important to take steps to manage your mental health. Here are some tips for managing your emotional wellbeing:
- Reach out. Talk to those you trust and build a strong support system. It can be helpful to talk to someone who can understand what you are going through.
- Stay positive. Speak positively about your condition and take control of your illness. Take note of what works for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Take time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to take a break from treating or talking about your PH. Take time to enjoy activities that you enjoy and make time for friends and family.
Seek professional help. If you feel overwhelmed or experience worsening symptoms, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Caring for your heart is essential for managing pulmonary hypertension. Making small changes in your lifestyle and taking time for yourself can empower you to live life to its fullest despite PH.