Imagine not being able to walk up stairs or even to your mailbox without feeling short of breath. That is what life is like for people living with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). Known simply as high blood pressure in the lungs, PAH reduces the amount of blood flowing through the lungs, which means less blood circulates throughout the body. This results in a variety of symptoms, including chest pain, dizziness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
Until recently there were few treatment options and patients did not live very long with the disease. However, new advances are improving survival rates and overall quality of life. One of the newest therapies, Adcirca, contains tadalafil -- the same active ingredient as Cialis. It works by opening blood vessels in the lungs so that blood can flow more freely. The PAH center at the Medical College of Georgia was involved in the clinical research that helped bring this therapy to patients. Other advances this year include the approval of a new inhaled medication for PAH. A number of research studies are underway at the Medical College of Georgia aimed at further improving treatment options.
There are a number of new treatments to consider and a network of support groups so that you don't feel alone. For more information, contact 706-721-0470.
Dr. James Gossage is the director of Pulmonary Vascular Diseases at the Medical College of Georgia.