Chest pain is a prevalent condition that may suggest physiological problems related to indigestion, muscle tightness, or cardiovascular health. Chest pain can at times be an indication of angina, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you have unexplained Bakersfield chest pain, you should consult your cardiologist. Explore the different angina types, risk factors, and treatment options.
Causes of angina
Angina is one of the potential causes of chest pain. Cardiologists do not consider angina a distinct illness but a symptom of coronary heart disease.
Angina typically occurs when the clogging of the arteries affects blood circulation. As a result, heart muscles do not receive adequate oxygen. Insufficient oxygen supply impacts muscular function and triggers symptoms.
Chest pain that indicates a heart problem has unique symptoms. It is characterized by tightness or a burning sensation. Patients report experiencing pressure or fullness at the chest’s center.
Symptoms of angina may also include:
Dizziness and nausea
Shortness of breath
Neck, arm, or jaw discomfort
It is worth noting women with angina may have unique symptoms different from men. Female patients are more likely to experience piercing chest pain rather than fullness or pressure. Stomach pain is also more frequent in women than in men.
Types of angina
The different types of angina include:
Stable angina is the most common type, affecting approximately 10 million Americans. It also has the highest prevalence for older adults.
Stable angina occurs when the heart muscle’s demand for oxygen exceeds the supply. You may have stable angina if you experience chest pain during physical activities. Symptoms are short-lived, typically lasting about five minutes.
You can relieve symptoms of stable angina by resting and reducing the intensity of physical activities. But ineffective disease management could eventually lead to cardiovascular complications.
Some symptoms of unstable angina are unique from the other types. While stable angina only occurs in short intervals, unstable angina is erratic. Unstable angina can also happen when relaxing or resting.
Rest or medication cannot effectively manage unstable angina. Your cardiologist will assess your arteries to pinpoint plaque accumulation and tissue damage.
Your condition may also require cardiac catheterization to restore blood vessel function. The process involves inserting a minute instrument into the blood vessel. The device opens the arteries facilitating blood flow.
Microvascular angina affects the heart’s smallest blood vessels. The principal factor is spasms within the walls of the arteries.
Microvascular angina causes a dull discomfort in the chest that lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. Most patients experience symptoms when resting or performing chores.
Prinzmental or variant angina
Variant angina occurs when you are relaxing or sleeping. Although rare, it is more prevalent in young healthy patients than stable angina.
It occurs due to artery spasms, which diminish the oxygen supply to the heart muscle. Managing variant angina may include calcium channel blockers. Medications like calcium channel blockers regulate the heart’s oxygen demand to alleviate angina symptoms.
To explore potential chest pain treatments, call Heart Vascular and Leg Center today.