Overview of Angina
There are four different types of angina. These are classified according to the time that this lasts and the pain the person is feeling. The four types are:
- Stable angina: In this type of angina, the heart is working harder to pump blood. Stress, physical exertion and cold temperatures can interrupt how well the blood is flowing to the heart. This is often short term and can be fixed with medications and rests.
- Unstable angina: This can occur at any time, even while at rest. The reason for this could be building plaque and obstruction in the arteries. The pain of this can last as long as fifteen minutes at a time.
- Prinzmetal angina/Variant angina: This is occurring due to the spasms that are taking place in the coronary arteries. The pain can occur at any time, but usually during midnight and early morning, while at rest.
- Microvascular angina: this is a mild pain that often lasts from ten to thirty minutes at a time. This pain is due to interrupted blood flow through the small coronary arteries.
Symptoms of Angina
In most cases, a person will have pressure, tightness, heaviness, aching or squeezing in their chest, particularly behind their breastbone. The pain can then radiate to the jaw, neck, arms, back and teeth. Those who have this may often have indigestion, weakness, heartburn, nausea, shortness of breath and sweating.
For those who have pain or discomfort and this continues for more than ten minutes at a time, they need to seek medical attention. Especially if they have:
- Profuse sweating
- Light headedness
The person should also seek medical attention if they are obese, smoke, have a history of heart disease, or simply have other risk factors that could increase their chances of having angina.
When angina goes untreated, this can lead to a heart attack. This can result in the person going into shock and lead to damage to the heart and other organs that cannot be reversed. Early medical attention is really the only way to go when these symptoms are present.
Medicines to help with Unstable Angina
When a person has unstable angina, they may need medications to help them. These medications include:
- Medications to help to thin blood
- Aspirin to help with blood clots and reduce the chances of heart attacks
- Blood pressure medication to help with regulating this
- Statins help to reduce high cholesterol
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