Treating and preventing other conditions

Some people may alsoneed treatment for any other symptoms or complications of polycythaemiathey have, or for any underlying cause of the condition.

For example, you may be givenmedication to help relieve itching, manage COPD or treat gout.

Manycases are mild andmay not leadto any further complications. However, some cases particularly cases of PV can bemore serious and require long-term treatment.

If well controlled, polycythaemia shouldn't affect your life expectancy, and you should be able to live a normal life. However, people with PV can have a slightly lower life expectancy than normal due to the increased risk of problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.

PV can also sometimescause scarring of the bone marrow (myelofibrosis), which can eventually lead to you having too few blood cells. In some rare cases, the condition can develop into a type of cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) .

If you have polycythaemia, it's important to take any medication you're prescribed and keep an eye out for signs of possibleblood clots to help reduce your risk of serious complications.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018