What is Angina?
Angina is a term used to define chest pain occurring in the settings of a heart problem called coronary artery disease. It is also known as angina pectoris that is found to cause disability and decrease the quality of life. Epidemiologic research indicates it to be a common problem, affecting millions of people worldwide.
The heart pumps blood throughout the body. It requires a continuous supply of oxygen for that purpose. In normally individual this constant flow of oxygen is made sure via smooth blood flow to the heart itself via coronary arteries.
The problem occurs when there is a deposition of lipids in the wall of these vessels. This causes hardening of the vessels walls and narrowing of the lumen ultimately interfering with the blood supply to the heart and causing symptoms of angina.
Types of Angina
The chest pain, in this case, follows a regular pattern both in terms of frequency, intensity as well as duration. It is predictable usually occurring after physical exertion or emotional stress. It is relieved by rest or medications.
It refers to chest pain occurring without physical exertion. It doesn’t follow any specific patterns, there is no predictability of any kind and it is not relieved by rest either. It is much more serious condition as compared to stable angina as it can progress to myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as heart attack that could be lethal.
It is also known as Prinzmetal angina after the name of the scientist that described the mechanism responsible for this kind of chest pain. The other name for this is vasospastic angina.
The chest pain in this case usually occurs at rest just like unstable angina. The difference here is that the main mechanism responsible here for the interference of blood flow to the heart and development of symptoms is a sudden spasm or contractions of the coronary arteries rather than the deposition of the fats.
Risk factors for Angina
The most common risk factors attributed to cause Angina are listed below
- High Blood pressure
Treatment of Angina
Angina is treated by the combination of lifestyle measures, medications as well as advanced medical procedures such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery.
The lifestyle measures are mainly that are of particular significance in the management of angina are listed below
- Cessation of cigarette smoking and avoidance passive smoking as well.
- Weight loss
- Avoidance of stress
- Taking a diet that is low in fats
- Avoiding too much salt intake
The medications used for the treatment of Angina are listed below
The walls of our vessels contain smooth muscles. Nitrates work by relaxing the smooth muscles of coronary arteries. This causes a dilation of the coronary vessels resulting in the increase in the blood flow to the heart, thus relieving the symptoms of angina.
Beta-blockers make the heart works slowly. Thus the workload on the heart is decreased and it requires less amount of the blood.
The other drugs used for the treatment of angina are calcium channel blockers such as verapamil and diltiazem, anti-platelets such as aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins.
Come to Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, Flatbush, Fort Greene and Midtown Manhattan) to find out more about your angina treatment options.