People experiencing severe chest pain may be feeling the effects of angina. While angina itself causes severe pain but does not cause death, it is a serious condition that may indicate a heart attack will happen in the near future.
Online PR News – 04-September-2012 – Orlando, Florida – In the United States, an estimated 9.1 million people suffer from angina. Angina itself causes serious physical pain, but is not a life-threatening condition. However, it can be the precursor to a heart attack, and discerning the difference between angina and a heart attack is difficult for the non-medical professional to do. Florida Heart Group's Orlando doctors recommend anyone who believes they are experiencing the symptoms of angina to stop by the practice for a checkup.
Angina as a condition comes in three different forms: stable, unstable, and microvascular. In general, the condition describes a lack of oxygen flow to the heart. During stable angina, plaque has severely narrowed the coronary artery, restricting the flow of oxygen, and symptoms are typically only experienced during similar situations, such as a large increase of physical activity. The most typical symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, back, arm, or neck pain, or tightness in the left arm penetrating through to the back, jaw, neck, or shoulder. The pain typically becomes worse for a few minutes before it finally goes away.
Unstable angina is the second most common type of angina. People experiencing unstable angina need to seek emergency Angina treatment immediately, as it indicates a heart attack could occur soon. The difference between unstable angina and stable angina is that unstable angina is more severe, happens more often, and occurs during lower physical activity levels or while you are at rest. It does not respond well to nitroglycerin, and the same symptoms as stable angina are experienced, although they are much more intense.
Microvascular angina acts much like angina pectoris. It produces similar symptoms, such as chest pain and discomfort, a crushing or burning sensation in the chest, and pain in the arms, shoulders, or jaw. However, microvascular angina results from insufficient blood flow through the cardiac blood vessels, whereas angina results from restricted blood flow through the coronary arteries. The condition is difficult for doctors to detect, but is believed to be quite common. Like the other forms of angina, however, it can be a precursor to a heart attack and requires immediate medical attention.
Angina treatment recommended by Orlando heart specialists involves a multipronged approach. For the most immediate and concerning condition, unstable angina, doctors may recommend an angioplasty, which involves inserting a tiny balloon down a narrowed artery, which is then inflated to keep the artery widened. In cases of severe stable angina, doctors may recommend coronary bypass surgery, which replaces the blocked arteries with blood vessels grafted from another part of the body. In addition to these physical solutions, one of the following medications may be prescribed:
The best way to prevent angina, however, is to make long-term lifestyle changes. Some of the habits recommended include:
Eating a diet low in saturated fat and high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
Developing a plan for safe levels of physical activity with a Florida cardiologist
Reducing excess weight
Treating underlying conditions that contribute to angina such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol
Finding healthy ways to manage stress
Individuals experiencing any of these symptoms of the three types of angina should seek angina treatment immediately. Individuals planning strenuous physical activity should also consult with a doctor prior to starting. The Florida Heart Group invites people requiring help monitoring their heart’s health to stop in. The practice is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
ABOUT FLORIDA HEART GROUP: Since its founding in 1979, Florida Heart Group has grown into a local leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The practice has over 19 cardiologists and numerous Orlando cardiology specializations, including Interventional Cardiology, Women’s Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Arrhythmia, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, and Diagnostic Imaging. The organization also has a vein center treating veins via compression hose, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, endo venous laser ablation, and ambulatory phlebectomy. Florida Heart Group can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and on their heart blog.