A national campaign to raise awareness of the serious lung condition pulmonary hypertension has been launched by a South Yorkshire charity.
The Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK, which operates from Chapeltown in Sheffield, has developed ‘PH Awareness Week’ - from November 19-27 - to encourage conversations about what it feels like to live with the disease.
A spokesman for the local charity said: “Pulmonary hypertension is a serious condition that causes high blood pressure in the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs. It’s very rare, affecting just 7,000 people in the UK. People can be born with PH or develop it at any time and it can affect anyone, regardless of age or ethnic background.
“Symptoms typically involve breathlessness, fatigue, black-outs and swelling around the ankles, arms and stomach. PH affects the ability to carry out basic tasks and get around and living with the condition can have a significant impact on emotional well-being.”
Iain Armstrong, chair of PHA UK, added: “PH is a life-limiting and life-threatening disease, but people with the condition often look well at rest and it’s only through a simple activity such as climbing the stairs that they may experience symptoms.
“Our members often tell us how frustrating it is to have an ‘invisible illness’ which most people just don’t see and recognise it as serious. They tell us how much it would help if more people were aware of it. They also say that they find it hard to talk about how PH makes them feel with friends and family.
“We put together this awareness week to help them start conversations. And the more people that know about PH, the more understanding there will be for those with the condition.”