Angina - Chest Pain
Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough blood and oxygen. It is a common symptom of coronary artery disease, which is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Angina can be a warning sign of a heart attack and should not be ignored.
Angina is caused by a reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. This can happen when the coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances that can stick to the walls of the arteries and reduce blood flow.
Risk factors for angina include:
High blood pressure
Lack of physical activity
Family history of heart disease
Age (older adults are more likely to develop angina)
The most common symptom of angina is chest pain or discomfort. The pain can feel like pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest. It may also be felt in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, or back. Other symptoms of angina may include:
Shortness of breath
Symptoms of angina can vary in severity and may occur during physical activity, emotional stress, or after a heavy meal. If you experience chest pain or other symptoms of angina, it is important to seek medical attention right away.
The goal of treatment for angina is to reduce symptoms and prevent a heart attack. Treatment options may include making lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of angina and improve overall heart health. These changes may include:
Eating a heart-healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy weight
Managing other health conditions (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes)
Medications may be used to reduce symptoms of angina and prevent a heart attack. These may include:
Nitroglycerin (taken as a tablet or spray)
Beta-blockers (to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure)
Calcium channel blockers (to relax the blood vessels)
Antiplatelet medications (to prevent blood clots)
In some cases, medical procedures may be necessary to improve blood flow to the heart. These may include:
Angioplasty and stenting (to open blocked arteries)
Coronary artery bypass surgery (to reroute blood flow around blocked arteries)
If you have been diagnosed with angina, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
In conclusion, angina is a serious condition that should not be ignored. If you experience chest pain or other symptoms of angina, seek medical attention right away. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of a heart attack and improve your overall heart health.