One of the reasons to visit a coronary care center is if you have angina. Angina is a common condition but is an indication of a potentially more serious heart problem. Therefore, if you have angina symptoms, it's important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Here is more information about angina, its causes, and what treatments may be available.
What Is Angina?
Angina is a sign of an underlying heart condition and not an actual disease or disorder. This condition involves the narrowing of large and small arteries. Angina has four different forms.
- Stable Angina: This type of angina is predictable and usually occurs with strenuous exercise. Stable angina is usually easy to treat and control.
- Unstable Angina: Unstable angina is often due to blocked arteries and coronary disease. It is unpredictable and often occurs at rest. This type of angina is potentially dangerous and needs immediate treatment.
- Variant Angina: This type of angina is caused by spasms in the large coronary artery and usually occurs at rest or at night. Certain types of drugs and substances contribute to variant angina.
- Microvascular Angina: Microvascular angina is very similar to variant angina in that it involves spasms in the smaller arteries. These spasms occur either at rest or during exercise.
What Are Angina Symptoms?
Angina symptoms include a tight feeling in the chest accompanied by shortness of breath and weakness. You may feel chest pain that radiates up to your neck and shoulders. Some people also experience nausea. Symptoms generally last for a short time, usually less than ten minutes. In many ways, angina simulates a heart attack. First-time sufferers must seek emergency treatment, especially if symptoms are prolonged.
What Treatments and Changes Help with Angina?
All types of angina, other than unstable angina, can be easily treated with traditional heart medications. To substantially reduce or eliminate all angina types, it's important to also treat the underlying condition. This often involves making lifestyle changes. Changes to nutrition and exercise habits can help to improve your angina and make your heart stronger. Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan with the goal of healing your heart.
Most types of angina on their own are generally not life-threatening. However, to make sure you are not actually having a serious cardiac event, see a doctor before assuming you have angina. A cardiac care center can help alleviate and reduce the frequency of your angina and treat any underlying heart conditions. Contact a cardiac care center if you have questions about angina or have a chronic heart condition that needs care.