Angina: Types, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment


Angina is not a disease, but a symptom of coronary artery disease. It is also known as angina pectoris and is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It is often described as a heaviness, pressure or tightness in the chest. The heaviness experienced can extend to your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach as well. The extent of pain differs in people, with some experiencing severe discomfort while others experiencing only a mild ache .

Angina is common and can affect anyone. It is not life-threatening in most cases, however, it can be an indicator of heart diseases. An angina attack can last from 1 to fifteen minutes .

The tight, chest pain is classified into three different types .

Apart from these three, one of the other types of angina is - angina in women. The symptoms of this particular condition can vary from that of classic angina due to the differences in the symptoms.

The signs include the following , :

Angina in women can develop the following symptoms :

Mostly, it is the result of underlying coronary artery disease; that is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles. When your heart gets an only a limited amount of oxygen, it's proper functioning becomes hampered thereby resulting in the chest pain .

Stable angina is usually caused by physical exertion. Apart from that, other factors such as emotional stress, cold temperatures, heavy meals and smoking also can narrow arteries and cause angina.

Unstable angina is caused by blood clots that block the blood vessels in your heart.

Variant angina is caused by a spasm in a coronary artery, causing the artery to temporarily narrow. The narrowing reduces blood flow to your heart, causing chest pain , .

The following factors can increase your risk of developing angina and coronary artery disease .

The chest pain can hinder with your daily activities such as walking, exercising etc .

The doctor will begin with a physical examination and then will ask about your symptoms and family medical history.

The doctor will advise you to undergo one or more of the following tests to examine and understand the condition in more clarity .

The medical care options for angina aims to manage the symptoms by focusing on reducing the pain, preventing the risk of heart attack and controlling the symptoms as well. Likewise, the treatment option depends on the damage caused to your heart .

Medications such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-covering enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, oral anti-platelet medicines, anticoagulants, high blood pressure medicines are prescribed for treating angina. These medicines are prescribed for widening blood vessels, slowing the heart down, relaxing the blood vessels and preventing blood clots.

Apart from that, if the situation is comparatively severe, the doctor will advise for surgery. Procedures such as angioplasty, stenting and coronary artery bypass surgery are the surgical procedures involved in treating angina .

If the angina is mild, the doctor will advise you to undergo certain changes in your daily schedules .

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