Angina – pain or discomfort in chest, usually caused by coronary artery disease which is most common heart problem in adults. It is called as discomfort which occurs if area of your heart does not get enough oxygen.
Here are some facts about angina (chest pain):
1. Pain which is located on left side of chest, on most of the occasions at times also radiates to left arm, fore arm, neck or back . Very rarely people experience pain in abdomen or jaw.
2. Angina often feels like heaviness or tightness in chest. Symptoms of shortness of breath have been reported too.
3. Angina is often brought on by physical activity or emotional upset , exertion , heavy meals
4. Pain or uneasiness which settles with rest is called as stable angina . In some cases chest pain does not settle with rest or medicines like sorbitrate – indicate towards serious underlying illness like unstable angina or heart attack .
5. Pain which lasts more than 30 min and is associated with sweating, fear of death is indicative of heart attack , for which hospitalization is essential .
6. Common risk factors for angina include sedentary lifestyle , diabetes , uncontrolled blood pressure , elevated cholesterol levels , addictions like smoking alcohol & stress . Positive family history is also noticed in some individuals .
7. Healthy lifestyle habits like stop smoking , control of Blood pressure , blood sugar , cholesterol , maintain normal body weight and health balanced diet helps in better control of heart disease . Reversal of blockages in blood flow is not possible but we can definitely control speed of progression of disease .
8. Many people with angina have good quality of life and continue with their normal daily activities.
9. Essential heart check ups like BMI , BP , lipid assessment , stress test & 2 D Echocardiography asssit in the management of angina.
10. Besides control of risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices, medicines like Glyceryl trinitrate ( GTN – sorbitrate ) are often used as emergency measure in cases with angina. Pain resolves in 2-5 minutes of taking tablet and rest.
GTN nasal sprays are also available and are used by many individuals.
If the pain doesn’t resolve in 5-10 min, it is advisable to rush to hospital with ICU set up for further management .