Angina is a very common condition among Americans. There are treatments to treat the conditions, but doctors will also recommend lifestyle changes.
What Is Angina?
Angina is chest pain that causes discomfort and pressure. There are two common types of angina.
- Chronic stable angina: Chronic stable angina occurs when you require more oxygen due to your heart overworking itself. The pain, triggers, and length of time it lasts would stay stable or consistent for at least two months for it to be considered stable.
- Unstable angina: Unstable angina occurs when you're feeling a new pain in your chest or worsening of pre-existing chest pain. Unstable angina can be a sign of a heart attack. It is suggested to seek a doctor as soon as possible if your chest pain changes.
What Are the Symptoms of Angina?
The symptoms of angina can include:
- Chest pain
- Burning in the chest
What Increases the Risk of Contracting Angina?
Many things can increase your risk of angina.
This can include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Lack of physical activity
There may be things your doctor may ask you to cut back on or stop completely, like eating too much sugar or smoking. To stay healthy, try to keep a healthy diet and exercise regimen while also avoiding stress.
Many medications can help alleviate the pain angina may cause.
These medications can include:
- Anti-platelets: These medications can prevent blood from clotting which makes it easier for blood to flow through the body.
- Beta-blockers: These medications block the effects adrenaline can have on your heart, preventing it from overworking itself.
- Calcium antagonists: These medications can widen your blood vessels which increases the blood flow to your heart.
- Nitrates: These medications can do the same as a calcium antagonist. On top of increasing blood flow, they can quickly rid angina pain during an episode.
The purpose of an angioplasty is to clear blockages in the arteries and increase blood flow.
An angioplasty is carried out by a doctor. Your doctor inserts a small, deflated balloon into the blocked arteries. Once in the correct position, the balloon is inflated to clear the blockage and widen the affected artery. There is a chance that the doctor will need to insert a stent, or small metal tube, to assist the artery in staying open. Inserting a stent that is coated in medication can help prevent a blockage from re-forming.
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation Therapy (EECP)
EECP is used to increase the blood flow to the heart so that the body is able to supply more oxygen. For this angina treatment, cuffs are attached to the legs. These cuffs will inflate and deflate with your heartbeat. This treatment is probably the most time-consuming, as it is 7 weeks long with visits 5 days a week.
For more information about angina treatment, contact a local physician.