What is angina pectoris?
Angina is a temporary pain or discomfort in the chest that occurs when the blood that carries oxygen does not reach the heart muscle enough. (The term “angina” means “pain,” while “pectoris” refers to the chest.) Sometimes, angina looks like heartburn, similar sensations that can be felt after a hearty meal. But if you experience this pain regularly, it can be a symptom of heart disease.
What are the causes?
Angina is usually a sign of heart disease, particularly a blockage of one or more of the main blood vessels that supply the heart muscle. In fact, angina pectoris is the most typical symptom of heart disease. In the United States, about 9.8 million people suffer from it. An angina attack occurs when the blocked vessel prevents adequate blood flow or when its spasm causes a decrease in blood flow to the heart muscle.
Does angina cause or aggravate heart disease?
Usually, angina does not cause any damage to the heart. Angina sounds more like a red flag and may mean that you have a higher risk of having a heart attack. Whether you are on an excursion, have a lively discussion with your partner or digest a five-course gourmet meal, angina is the way your heart tells you that you are working too hard and don’t run out of blood. oxygen.
What are the symptoms of angina?
Though they differ from person to person, these are the distinctive indications:
- Acute or dull pain, tightness, pressure, tightness or burning sensation in the chest.
- Pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulders or back with chest discomfort (these symptoms often occur with physical exertion, emotional stress or eating).
- tingling, pain or numbness in the elbows, arms or wrists (especially the left arm)
- Difficulty breathing
How is angina diagnosed?
Because of its symptoms and a stress test, which usually means walking on a treadmill. It will be connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the electrical activity of the heart before, during and after the stress test, and your blood pressure will be monitored at all times. Characteristic changes in EKG occur if heart disease is present. But this test is for screening and you may need other tests, such as a nuclear scanner or an angiogram. On an angiography, a dye is injected into the blood and an x-ray of the heart and blood vessels is taken.
How is it treated?
Nitroglycerin under the tongue is the usual medicine for angina attacks: it helps dilate the blood vessels so that more blood can reach the heart. Nitroglycerin is also available as a pill or patch to prevent symptoms. (Anyone taking nitroglycerin should avoid using Viagra (sildenafil) because it can cause a serious drop in blood pressure). After a full evaluation, your doctor may prescribe other medications, such as blockers and calcium channel blockers also help prevent angina. Your doctor may also ask you to take aspirin regularly, which reduces the ability of blood to clot, allowing you to move more easily through narrow arteries. You can benefit from learning stress reduction techniques, such as meditation or relaxation exercises. Check your local community center for courses or workshop lists.