What are the Symptoms of Angina Pectoris?

What are the Symptoms of Angina Pectoris?

Angina pectoris, commonly referred to as angina, is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough oxygen-rich blood. It’s usually a symptom of an underlying heart condition, most commonly coronary artery disease (CAD). The symptoms of angina can vary in intensity and duration. Here are the typical signs and symptoms associated with angina:

  • Chest Pain or Discomfort: The hallmark symptom of angina is a sensation of tightness, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest. This discomfort is often described as a squeezing or burning sensation.
  • Pain Radiating to the Arms, Neck, Jaw, Back, or Shoulder: The pain or discomfort may extend from the chest to the arms (usually the left arm), neck, jaw, back, or shoulder. The distribution of the pain can vary from person to person.
  • Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea): Individuals with angina may experience difficulty breathing, particularly during physical exertion or stressful situations. This can be accompanied by a feeling of being unable to catch one’s breath.
  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or exhausted, even with minimal physical activity, can be a symptom of angina.
  • Nausea or Indigestion-Like Sensations: Some people may experience nausea, indigestion, or discomfort in the upper abdomen that may be mistaken for stomach-related issues.
  • Sweating: Profuse sweating, especially clammy or cold sweats, can occur during an angina episode.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Some individuals may feel dizzy or lightheaded, especially during or after an angina episode.
  • Pain Triggered by Activity or Stress: Angina often occurs during physical exertion, emotional stress, after a heavy meal, or in extreme temperatures. Rest or nitroglycerin can often relieve the pain.
  • Pain Relief with Rest or Nitroglycerin: Rest or taking nitroglycerin (a medication that relaxes and widens blood vessels) can provide relief from angina symptoms.
  • Pain Usually Lasting 5-15 Minutes: Angina episodes typically last a few minutes (around 5-15 minutes) and go away with rest. Prolonged or severe chest pain should be evaluated immediately as it may be a heart attack.

It’s important to note that the severity and frequency of angina symptoms can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience stable angina, with predictable triggers and pain patterns, while others may have unstable angina, characterized by sudden and severe chest pain that occurs even at rest.

If you experience symptoms of angina, especially chest pain or discomfort, seeking medical attention is crucial for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and management. Angina can be a warning sign of an underlying heart condition and should not be ignored.

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