Angina is the discomfort or the chest pain that develops as the result of insufficient amount of blood supplied to the heart. It could be like a squeezing pain or a pressure on one’s chest and felt like indigestion. It can also reflect in pain in arms, shoulders, jaw, neck or back.
Angina is the symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), one of the most common heart diseases. CAD occurs when plaque (a sticky substance) builds up in the arteries and reduces the flow of blood to the heart.
Types of Angina
There are three types of angina:
- Stable angina (recurring and persistent chest pain that starts with exertion);
- Unstable angina (instant or new chest pain or any change in the existing pattern of chest pain); and
- Variant angina (also known as Prinzmetal’s angina and results by coronary artery spasm).
Unstable angina is the most dangerous of all three types. It does not give away any physical exertion and does not occur in a strict pattern. Unfortunately it is not avoided with the use of medicine and alarms possible heart attack.
All chest pains are not angina but after developing one you must visit your doctor to avail his expert advice.
Angina is discovers very frequently but it is hard to be distinguished from other types of chest pains like indigestion or discomfort. For unexplained and continued chest pain one must immediately visit his or her physician.
Symptoms of Angina
Common symptoms of angina re as follows:
- Pain in chest
- Pain in areas around heart like neck, arm, shoulder, jaw and back
- Shortness of breath
The chest pain and discomfort common with angina may be described as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. Some people with angina symptoms describe angina as feeling like a vise is squeezing their chest, or feeling like a heavy weight has been placed on their chest.
The intensity, type and duration of angina vary in different cases and important to realize for those who are new victims of angina. Different or new symptoms are alarm of heart attack.
Stable angina is the most frequent type of angina and diminishes with proper rest. Stable angina can change into unstable angina in case proper treatment is not taken by the patient.
Characteristics of Stable Angina
Characteristics of stable angina are:
- Occurs with the hard and swift work of heart for exemple during exercise and climbing
- A predictable pain and similar to previous chest pain
- Lasts for very small times for even five minutes or less
- Disappears as soon as you start to rest
- Feels like indigestion
- Spread to arms, back and other adjacent areas
- Mental and emotional stress triggers such pain
Characteristics of unstable angina
Characteristics of unstable angina are given below:
- Hits one even at rest
- Different from common feeling of angina
- Severe and lasts long, at times for 30 minutes
- May not depreciate with rest of medication
- Signal heart attack
Characteristics of variant angina
The variant angina has following characteristics:
- It happens usually whne oen is taking rest
- Is very severe
- Often relieved with the medication of angina
Causes of Angina
When reduced amount of blood reaches the heart muscle angina emerges. Heart muscles need oxygen to carry on their work efficiently where less amount of blood will not be able to fulfill the desired amount of oxygen, the condition is called ischemia, and muscles start to ache.
CAD is the most common cause of angina. Plaque deposits can reduce the amount of blood reaching one’s heart, called atherosclerosis. The risk factors of developing angina are given below for your enlightenment. One must remember that
- Smoking of tobacco
- High blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels
- High blood pressure
- Family or personal history of heart diseases
- Lack of exercise
Less flow of blood to heart is a problem of supply that arises when heart is not getting ample supply of blood rich with oxygen. The issue of angina is not permanent although the fatty builds up are always there. It is because when one is resting the heart muscles need less amount of oxygen and can manage with reduce amount of blood supply without giving away any chest pain. But with the increase of demand for oxygen, in case one exercise or work the symptoms start to appear.