Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension  

Pulmonary hypertension is a potentially serious health condition that can lead to heart failure.

Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include:

  • shortness of breath 
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • chest pain (angina)
  • a racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • leg swelling

Your symptoms may get worse when you exercise, which can limit your ability to take part in physical activities.

As pulmonary hypertension progresses, carrying out everyday activities may also become difficult. If your condition starts impact on your everyday life, it can affect your quality of life and may lead to depression. Visit your GP if you feel depressed so they can recommend appropriate treatment.

If you have a type of pulmonary hypertension known as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), you may not experience any symptoms until the condition is quite advanced. 

Heart failure

Untreated pulmonary hypertension can lead to heart failure, where your heart struggles to pump enough blood around your body. As well as shortness of breath and tiredness, heart failure can also cause:

  • swelling in the legs, ankles and feet (oedema
  • waking up in the middle of the night gasping for breath (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea) 
  • a persistent cough 
  • nausea (feeling sick) 
  • lack of appetite 
  • weight loss
  • confusion or difficulty concentrating 

Page last reviewed: 19/10/2012

Next review due: 19/10/2014