What is Angina?
Angina is a symptom of heart disease, manifests as chest pain that occurs when your arteries are blocked or there is not enough blood flow in the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to your heart. You may feel pressure or a squeezing feeling in your chest. This condition is sometimes called ischemic chest pain and forces your heart to work with less oxygen.
Angina usually happens in an instance but still can be a sign of a life-threatening heart issue. It is critical to find out what are you having this condition and what you can do to avoid any possibility of a heart attack. Usually, lifestyle changes and medications can control Angina. However, there may be different approaches depending on how severe it is, you may need surgery, or you may need a tiny tube that props open arteries called a stent.
There are different types of Angina:
Stable Angina: is the most common condition. Stress or physical activity can trigger this condition. It usually goes away when you rest. It can signify that you may have a heart attack—attempt medical attention when this happens.
Unstable Angina: this can happen while you are resting. The pain can be severe and long-lasting, and it may come back again and again. It can signal that you are about to have a heart attack, attempt medical attention immediately.
Microvascular Angina: you have chest pain because the smallest arteries are not working correctly, so your heart does not get enough blood. The pain may last more than 10 minutes. Typically is more common in women.
Prinzmetal’s Angina: This is a rare type of Angina. It might happen at night while you are sleeping or resting. Your heart arteries suddenly tighten or narrow, causing much pain. It requires medical attention.
Angina symptom affects people differently. These are some of them:
- The feeling of fullness in your chest
- The feeling of heaviness or pressure
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
You may experience pain behind your breastbone; it can spread to your shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw, or back.
Stable Angina often gets better with rest. Unstable Angina may not, and it could worsen; please attempt to call a doctor right away.
Angina in Women vs. Men
Angina manifests differently in men and women. Men may experience pain in their chest, neck, and shoulders, while women may feel discomfort in their belly, neck, jaw, throat, or back, plus shortness of breath, sweating, or dizziness.
What causes Angina?
Several factors can cause Angina, including:
- A blockage in a major artery of your lungs (Pulmonary embolism)
- An enlarged or thickened heart (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
- Narrowing of a valve in the principal part of your heart (aortic stenosis)
- Swelling of the sac around your heart (pericarditis)
- Tearing in the wall of your aorta
Angina Risk Factors Lifestyle could put you at higher risk, including:
- Family history of heart disease
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Older age
How Is Angina Treated?
The treatment will depend on how much damage there is in your heart. Mild angina: medicine and lifestyle changes can often help their blood flow and control their symptoms.
Stable Angina: lifestyle changes, including exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, medication, and surgery. Discuss best exercise routine and diet with your doctor to determine how you can adjust your lifestyle safely.
Changes in your habits can also reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, which may eventually lead to heart disease.