Angina pectoris is a medical condition resulting in chest pain or discomfort. Angina pectoris occurs when the heart is not getting enough blood supply. The oxygen rich blood is not able to reach the heart due to the buildup of plaque, which results in narrowing of coronary arteries. Lack of proper blood supply to the heart increases the risk of pain, heart attack, stroke, and other coronary artery diseases. However, the pain related to angina is temporary, but if left untreated can make serious heart complications inevitable. There are two types of angina pectoris:
Stable Angina- It occurs when a patient is involved in some kind of physical activity like exercise. During physical activity, the heart becomes overactive often leading to pain in the chest. Stable Angina is also known as chronic angina, as it follows a regular pattern.
Unstable Angina- It can occur anytime, even when a person is resting. Unstable angina is less common than the stable angina, but can get worse over time and may lead to a heart attack.
There is another type of rare Angina known as Variant angina, which occurs due to unusual narrowing down of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart.
Risk factors of Angina Pectoris
Patients with coronary artery disease are at greater risk of angina. Some common risk factors of angina include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- High level of bad cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Physical inactivity
- Having a history of Cardiovascular disease
- Unhealthy work out
- Living in extreme hot or cold conditions
Pain and discomfort in the chest is a most common symptom of angina. A patient with angina pectoris may also feel squeezing of the chest, pressure, heaviness, tightening, and burning sensation around the chest. The pain during angina can spread up to neck, shoulder, and arms. The symptoms of stable angina last from a few seconds to 15 minutes. Some other symptoms of angina pectoris are:
Diagnosis of Angina Pectoris
The doctor will a study the medical history of a patient and may perform a physical test, which will include checking of the patient’s blood pressure, heartbeat, and pulse. The doctor may also run tests to diagnose angina. Diagnostic tests
for angina may include:
Is an imaging technique that allows doctor to see the patient’s blood vessels. The angiography exam reveals which artery is affected.
Determines the electrical activity of the heart and measures the rhythm of the heart.
To measure the levels of cholesterol, fats, diabetes
, and proteins.
The goal of the angina pectoris treatment is to provide relief from the painful symptoms and to reduce the risks of heart attack. The treatment of angina includes medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes.
The patient of angina pectoris is often prescribed with nitrates. Nitrates help in reducing the frequency of angina attacks by relaxing and widening blood vessels. A patient may also be, given beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, anticoagulants, and high blood pressure medications. These medications lower the blood pressure, ease the chest discomfort, and prevent blood from clotting.
If medicinal treatment is not giving desired results, surgical procedures are required to treat angina. The most common surgical procedure used for the treatment of angina is angioplasty, which is also known as stent procedure. The stent is permanently placed in the patient’s artery to prevent it from blockage. The stent keeps the passage open, allowing blood to flow easily.
- Avoid smoking
- Controlling weight
- Controlling diabetes and cholesterol
- Avoiding alcohol
- Healthy diet