Many people with PAH deal with symptoms that impact their day-to-day lives, such as shortness of breath and fatigue. You may experience these symptoms because PAH causes the millions of tiny blood vessels in your lungs to thicken and narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow from your heart through your lungs. This puts extra strain on your heart, which makes it harder to pump blood to your lungs.
PAH is a severe disease that gets worse over time. But some of today’s medicines have been shown to slow disease progression and improve how you feel. By working closely with your doctor to assess your symptoms, risk status and treatment options, you may be better able to manage the impact of PAH on your life. Together with the support of your healthcare team, there may be more you can do to achieve your treatment goals.
"I aced my last 6-minute walk test and my doctor said I was doing okay. But I didn't tell her that it took me two days to recover. So am I really doing okay?" - PAH Patient
Even if your doctor is satisfied that you're doing "okay" with your PAH, is doing "okay" enough for you? There may be ways to reduce your symptoms so you can feel better and do more. As ongoing research helps us understand more about PAH, experts continue to improve the way they treat it.
In order to determine the best treatment approach for you, it is important to have your doctor regularly monitor your risk status (the risk of your PAH getting worse over the next 5 years). Your doctor will consider a number of factors to determine whether you are at low-, intermediate- or high-risk status.