What is Angina?
Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease. Angina is also called angina pectoris and is often characterized by pressure, squeezing, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest. Someone who has experienced angina pain would describe it as an extreme tightness on the chest or like a heavy object is placed on their chest. Chest pain due to angina cannot usually be distinguished from an uncomfortable pain due to ingestion or other reasons. If you have a chest pain without any reason, you must talk to your doctor right away.
Symptoms of Angina Pain:
Here are some common symptoms of angina that you might mistake as other conditions, but it is advisable that you visit a doctor right away:
- Sharp pressure in the chest and discomfort with a sensation of squeezing, burning and fullness.
- Pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder, back, and arms along with chest pain
- Fatigue and nausea
- Shortness of breath
Types of Angina
There are three types of Angina pain:
This is the most common forms of angina and is triggered by stress or physical activity. It happens in a mild form that goes away if you rest. But you must report this to a doctor as you are at risk of developing a heart attack in the future.
This type of angina is the most prominent symptom that you are about to have a heart attack. It can be a strong pain that arises when you are at rest and not active. The pain goes away and comes back again and again. Seeing a doctor right away can save you from a life-threatening heart attack.
This type of angina pain is rare but not uncommon. It might happen when you are sleeping and the heart arteries can suddenly tighten and narrow. The pain is sharp and you must get it treated.
Causes of Angina pain
Angina is nothing but the first symptom of heart disease. Plaque builds up in the arteries and blocks the blood flow to the heart muscles. The heart works with limited oxygen that leads to pain. Gradually it causes blood clots in the arteries of the heart that causes heart attacks. The other less common causes of angina are:
- Blockage in the major artery of the lungs
- Enlarged or thickened heart
- Narrowing of a valve in the main region of the heart
- Swelling of the sac around the heart
- Tearing in the wall of the aorta, the largest artery in the body
How Angina symptoms in women differ from that of men?
In men, heart disease is due to blockages in the coronary artery called obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). But women frequently develop heart disease in the very small arteries that branch out of the coronary arteries called microvascular disease (MVD).
Women have an entirely different set of symptoms than men.
They might feel discomfort in their belly, neck, throat, jaw or the back. It may also include shortness of breath, dizziness, and sweating. When women are sick, they often tend to ignore it and that makes the situation critical. Women need to understand the symptoms and seek medical help as and when required.
Don’t let the situation go out of hand. Visit a doctor at the first abnormal symptom and get treated at the earliest to avoid any future occurrence of a heart attack.