Angina pectoris is a chest pain or discomfort that keeps on coming back at regular intervals of time. This type of condition happens when some part of your heart doesn't get enough blood and oxygen.
Angina can be a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). This kind of a situation arises when arteries that carry blood to your heart become narrowed and blocked because of atherosclerosis or a blood clot.
It can also happen because of unstable plaques, poor blood flow through a narrowed heart valve, a decreased pumping function of the heart muscle, as well as a coronary artery spasm.
How is Angina Pectoris diagnosed?
Your doctor can often diagnose angina pectoris from your symptoms and how and when they occur. Other tests may include:
Symptoms of Angina Pectoris
Some of the most common symptoms of angina pectoris are:
- A pressing, squeezing, or crushing pain, usually in the chest under your breastbone
- Pain in your upper back, both arms, neck, or ear lobes
- Pain radiating in your arms, shoulders, jaw, neck, or back
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness and fatigue
- Feeling faint
Angina chest pain is generally lowered down within a few minutes by resting or by taking prescribed cardiac medicine, such as nitroglycerin.
How is Angina Pectoris treated?
Your doctor will determine specific treatments, based on:
- How old you are
- Your overall health and past health
- How sick you are
- How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- How long the condition is expected to last
- Your opinion or preference
Your doctor can prescribe medicines if you have angina pectoris. The most common medicine is nitroglycerin, which helps to lower down the pain by opening up your blood vessels. This further allows more blood to flow in your heart muscle and decreases the workload of your heart.
Nitroglycerin may be taken daily to prevent angina pectoris or, it may be taken as a nose spray or under the tongue when angina occurs.
Don't take sildenafil (for erectile dysfunction
) with nitroglycerin. This can further cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. You just have to talk to your doctor if you are taking erectile dysfunction medicines before taking nitroglycerin.
Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers are also used to treat angina.