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What is Angina?What are the major types of Angina? written by:Dr.Sukhvinder Singh Sr.Cardiologist Delhi

What is Angina?What are the major types of Angina? written by:Dr.Sukhvinder Singh Sr.Cardiologist Delhi

Verified By: Dr.Sukhvinder Singh - A Certified Cardiologist in India MBBS, MD, DM (Cardiology) Experience:10 + years He Provides Cardiologist Consultations through Online (TeleMedicine)

When the heart muscles do not get oxygen rich-blood inadequate amount, it causes pain or discomfort in your heart leading to angina. Regular angina symptoms might feel like squeezing or pressure in your heart.

The pain sometimes can also extend to arms, shoulders, jaw, and neck, the upper part of abdomen up to umbilicus or back. In some patients, it may also cause a feeling of indigestion.

Angina is a symptom of the coronary heart disease (CHD) and is one of the most common heart diseases found in adults. CHD occurs when plaque, a waxy substance, builds up inside the coronary artery inner walls.

These arteries perform the function of carrying oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Due to the formation of the waxy substance, the coronary arteries stiffen and get narrowed causing angina or anginal chest pain. If rupture of plaque occurs due to certain reasons, blood clots are formed in the arteries, total blockade of an artery, resulting in heart attack.


The major types of angina include:

  • Unstable
  • Stable
  • Variant (prinzmetal)
  • Microvascular

Signs and Symptoms:

The main angina symptoms include discomfort and heaviness in the chest. A patient feels as someone is pressing his/her chest or has put a stone on their chest. Pain, Burning, tightness or pressure in the chest is caused due to angina. Most typically the angina pain occurs in the center of the chest, it may occur on left and right side also. It is a common misconception that only left side pain is anginal and pain on right side of the chest cannot be angina.More often, people find it difficult to tell the point of origin of the pain as it is difficult to locate pain arising from inner organs.

{ Also ReadWhen do Doctors Suggest Open Heart Surgery? }

Other notable signs include fatigue, nausea, light-headedness, weakness, sweating and shortness of breath.Shortness of breath is common among women having diabetes along with dizziness, confusion and weakness. Depending upon the type of angina, your symptoms may vary. At times, you may feel only breathlessness and no pain. It is more common in elderly, diabetics and females. Because there are varying reasons behind a chest pain, you must not bear it and quickly consult the caregiver. If the chest pain does not go away with regular medications within few minutes, it can be an indicator of heart attack and needs urgent medical attention.

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