Table of Content
- Angina (Chest Pain)
- Types of Angina:
- Causes of Angina
- Symptoms of Angina
- Diagnosis of Angina
- Tests for Angina:
Angina (Chest Pain)
Angina can be felt just like heart attack, normally it is the warning sign from heart. If you are feeling squeezing and pressure in your chest then it might be due to angina. You can do a lot of things to stop it. The easiest way to control angina is the change in lifestyle and use of medicines. But in severe cases surgery is advisable. In addition to this you may need a tube known as stent which will open arteries.
The chest pain is felt because of the inadequate application of the blood to the part of hearts. It is a sign of some kind of heart disease and happens when arteries which are supplying oxygen-rich blood to your heart blocked by something.
Usually angina is not permanent but it can be a sign of deadliest heart problems. Visit your doctor if you have angina.
Types of Angina:
Stable angina: it is the common type of angina and can be triggered by stress and physical activity. It can be easily preventable and curable by complete rest. Hopefully it is not referred to as a heart attack but it is sign of a heart attack in future. Always consult with your doctor.
Unstable angina: it generally happens when you are not working or when you are not very much active. The pain due to unstable angina is long lasting, strong and can happen again and again. Visit doctor as soon as possible because it is a sign of heart attack.
Variant angina or Prinzmetal’s angina: this type may arise suddenly at night when you are sleeping or at rest. It is rare and arteries suddenly narrow or tighten. It can lead to severe pain and you need to treat it as soon as possible.
Causes of Angina
It is caused by some kind of heart disease. It happens when a fatty substance in the form of plaque builds up in the arteries. As a result blood flow to the muscles of heart stop. This result in severe pain because heart muscles are deprived of oxygen. You can also feel blood clots in the arteries of heart, which will definitely lead to heart attack.
Other causes of angina include:
- Pulmonary embolism due to blockage of blood in the main artery of lungs
- Cardiomyopathy characterized by the enlargement and thickening of the heart
- Aortic stenosis due to narrowness of the valves of the heart
- Pericarditis due to swelling of sac around your heart
- Aortic dissection tearing in the wall of largest artery the aorta
Symptoms of Angina
The leading symptom of the angina is chest pain but it is known to affect different people differently. You may have:
· Heart burning
· Heart aching
· Feeling heavy
· Irregular pressure on heart
You will feel severe pain behind breastbone which will transfer to other parts as well, such as shoulders, neck, jaw, arms, throat or sometime in back. It is often misread as gas, burning for heartburn or an aching.
In men severe pain in neck, shoulders and chest can be felt. While in women discomfort in neck, belly, throat, jaw or back are prominent. Additionally you may also experience dizziness, sweating and shortness of breath. It is found that most of the women use crushing or pressing to explain their condition.
Diagnosis of Angina
If you are feeling any kind of chest pain you must consult with doctor. He will ask you simple questions:
- What are you feeling at the spot?
- What kind of pain it is?
- In which area of chest you are feeling pain
- How strong the pain is?
- The duration of pain
- Activity at the time pain starts
- Is the pain long-lasting
- Have you feel chest pain before?
- Experienced any kind of heart attack or surgery
- Having family history of heart diseases
- Having other kinds of medical conditions
Tests for Angina:
EKG (Electrocardiogram): this is the interpretation of electrical signals of beating heart.
Exercise Stress Test: you are allowed to run on pedal or treadmill while doctor check your blood pressure, heart rate and finally changes in hearts rhythm.
Coronary Angiography: catheter is inserted through a blood vessel normally of wrist or groin. The dye is inserted through this tube and with the help of x-ray it can be computed that how well blood is flowing.
Computed Tomography: It is another test to check the flow of blood. Dye is injected through a vein and then flow is monitored with the help of X-rays.
Treatment of Angina
The treatment depends on the damage caused. If condition is mild then slight change in lifestyle along with medications help to flow blood better.
The medicines can be prescribed to:
- Widen the narrowed blood vessels, which will help to improve the flow of blood
- Slowing down of heart to reduce burden
- Give relief to the blood vessels which will help to improve blood flow
- Reduce clot formation
If the medications are not fruitful then you need to open the blocked arteries through surgery. The surgical methods include:
Stenting/Angioplasty: in this particular procedure the doctors insert a tube having a balloon through artery leading to your heart. Then the inserted balloon is inflated inside the narrowed artery which will help to widen the artery and restore proper flow.
- Bypass surgery or CABG: In this procedure healthy arteries from other parts of the body are transplanted to bypass the flow of blood. You will need to stay in the hospital for a week or two after this surgery. This is just to take care of you properly and doctors will carefully monitor different factors such as blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level.
After this you can have a successful life but you need to monitor your body regularly. If you feel any kind of pain in chest then stop doing that activity at the spot. Always try to avoid those activity which are known to trigger angina. The best way to avoid angina is to stay happy.
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