Angina or Angina pectoris is acute condition which is characterized by severe pain in the chest, due to reduced blood supply to cardiac muscles, which results in lack of oxygen to the heart muscles. The condition may develop due to an obstruction or spasm of the coronary arteries (which are the main arteries supplying to the myocardium).
Acute Angina Attack
The acute angina attacks are classified based on the type and nature of the attack. There are three major types,
- Stable Angina: When the onset of chest pain and ischemia is associated with physical exertion. The symptoms of angina tend to disappear on rest
- Unstable Angina: A more severe type of angina, this form of angina develops at rest without exertion
- Microvascular Angina: This is a unique form of angina pain which is not associated with blockage of the coronary arteries. Since the underlying cause for this type of angina is different, it is easier to manage and treat this condition
Symptoms Of Angina Attack
The symptoms associated with acute angina are as follows,
- Chest discomfort which comprises of tightness, heaviness, burning and choking sensation in the chest. The typical pain would radiate from the chest region to the jaws, shoulder of the neck region.
- Occasionally the condition may be associated with severe pain in the chest with referred pain in the left arm.
- In addition some patients may experience nausea, vomiting and severe sweating
- Breathlessness or grasping for air is also a symptom associated with acute angina
Treatment For Angina Pectoris
Treatment comprises of use of vasodilators, blood thinning agents like warfarin or low molecular weight heparin and beta blockers to reduce the heart rate and thereby reduce the demand for oxygen by the myocardium.