What is Angina (Chest Pain)? - Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

What is Angina (Chest Pain)? - Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Mar 01, 2021

Angina, also known as angina pectoris, is a type of chest pain associated with tightness, pressure, squeezing, pain, or heaviness in the chest. Although angina is a common problem, it can easily be confused with other types of chest problems such as indigestion discomfort like heartburn.

Therefore, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention if you experience unexplained, new, or recurring chest pain. You can contact Altus Emergency Center for an emergency room in Lake Jackson.

Symptoms of Angina

Apart from chest pain, you may experience other symptoms such as;

  • Pain in the arm, back, neck, or jaw
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Aching and burning
  • Stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

Angina Causes

In most cases, Angina is usually a symptom of coronary artery disease. It happens when blood clots or a fatty substance (plaque) builds up in the arteries, narrowing them. In other cases, the plaque may break off, forming blood clots which may block the arteries.

This makes it hard for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle. When the heart doesn’t receive enough oxygen, it’s forced to work harder with less oxygen, resulting in chest pain and discomfort.

Other causes of Angina include;

  • Damaged arteries,/li>
  • Damage in the wall of the aorta
  • A thickened or enlarged heart
  • Artery blockage in the lungs
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Pericarditis

Conditions that can increase the risk of getting Angina include;

  • Old age
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Stress and depression
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Not exercising

Type of Angina

There are four types of Angina, including;

Stable Angina – it’s the most common type of angina. It happens when the heart works harder than usual – a physical activity such as exercise can trigger it. In most cases, stable angina only lasts for a few minutes, around 5 minutes, and goes away after rest or medication. While stable angina may not be a severe condition, it’s essential to check with your doctor – it can be a sign of an underlying heart condition.

Unstable Angina – unlike stable angina, unstable angina happens when you’re at rest and can last for more than 5 minutes. Mostly, it results from a blockage in the arteries that hinders blood from reaching the heart.

The pain can be stronger, recurrent, and long-lasting. It could also be a sign of a heart attack, and so you should seek immediate emergency care near you if you experience this condition. Altus Emergency Center offers emergency room services in Lake Jackson.

Microvascular angina – This type of angina is associated with coronary microvascular disease. It happens when the smallest coronary arteries don’t work as they should. This reduces the amount of blood flow to the heart, causing chest pains.

This condition is more common in women and can last for more than 10 to 30 minutes. Sometimes it can be accompanied by shortness of breath, sleep problems, low energy, and fatigue. You should seek an ER Near you if you experience this condition.

Prinzmetal’s/variant angina – this type is chronic and rare. It happens when a spasm develops in the coronary arteries, causing the heart arteries to narrow or tightens suddenly.

This condition mostly happens at midnight or early morning, when the body is at rest. Unlike other types of angina, this condition is very painful and should be treated immediately. You can visit the Lake Jackson emergency clinic for emergency care.

Treatment of Angina

If you experience any of the four types of Angina that we’ve discussed above, you should see a doctor for an immediate diagnosis. If possible, you should call for emergency care near you instead of driving yourself to the hospital.

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend the following procedure or test;

  • Stress testing
  • Chest X-Rays
  • Stress Testing
  • Blood Tests
  • EKG – Electrocardiogram
  • Cardiac Catheterization/Coronary Angiography
  • Computed Tomography Angiography

Based on your diagnosis, your doctor will give the best treatment for your condition. Possible treatments of angina include;

  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Medicines
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Cardiac procedures
  • Surgical procedures

For mild conditions, medicine and lifestyle changes can help to manage the situation with ease. Common lifestyle changes include;

  • Weight management
  • Regular exercises
  • Avoid smoking
  • Checking or managing cholesterol levels
  • Enough sleep and rest
  • Avoid or manage stress
  • Have a diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins

Conclusion

If you experience any angina symptoms that we’ve discussed above, you should visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis. If angina is caused by an underlying health condition, your doctor will recommend the best treatment.

If symptoms persist or worsen, visit or call for an emergency room near you. You can also visit Altus Emergency Center for emergency care in TX, 77566.

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