Angina & Heart Attack

Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology -  - Cardiologist

Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology

Cardiologists located in Evergreen Park, IL & Palos Heights, IL

Angina & Heart Attack Specialist
Chest pain can feel sharp, dull, or like your chest is under vise-like pressure. No matter how it feels, chances are you won’t know whether it’s angina -- chest pain due to a heart condition -- or if it’s caused by another issue, such as heartburn. The doctors at Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology urge you not to guess or take a wait-and-see attitude, because angina may signal a pending heart attack. Contact us to schedule a cardiac screening at one of our locations in the Greater Chicago Area.

Angina & Heart Attack Q & A

What is angina?

Angina is chest pain or discomfort, such as pressure, burning, or tightness, that develops when your heart doesn’t get enough oxygen due to reduced blood flow. When you experience angina, the pain isn’t always confined to the chest area. You may feel it in your arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, throat, or back.

Angina isn’t a disease -- it’s a symptom warning you of an underlying health problem. It’s frequently a symptom of coronary heart disease, but it’s also caused by other heart conditions, such as inflammation or a damaged heart muscle.

What other conditions cause chest pain?

Chest pain also arises from a number of health concerns that aren’t related to your heart, including:

  • Lung problems
  • Panic attacks or anxiety
  • Muscle strain or spasms
  • Gallstones
  • Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux
  • Stomach ulcers or gastritis

Since there’s no way to be sure about the cause of your chest pain, please protect your health and contact Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology for an evaluation.

What are the different types of angina?

Some types of angina can be managed with medication, while others represent a pending heart attack. The most common types include:  

Stable angina: Stable angina often has a regular pattern and predictable triggers that cause the chest pain, such as exercise or emotional distress. While it’s not a heart attack, stable angina suggests you’re at a higher risk for a cardiac event.

Unstable angina: This type of angina causes unexpected chest pain that usually occurs while you’re resting and doesn’t follow a pattern. Unstable angina should always be treated as a medical emergency because you could be having a heart attack, and you’re at risk for severe arrhythmias or cardiac arrest.  

Microvascular angina: When heart disease affects the smallest coronary arteries, you may develop microvascular angina. The pain can be severe and may be accompanied by shortness of breath, sleep problems, fatigue, and lack of energy.

How is angina treated?

The treatment plan is always tailored to your symptoms and overall health, but may include:

  • Treatment of underlying cause of chest pain
  • Dietary changes to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or add heart-healthy nutrients
  • Exercise recommendations to keep you safely active
  • Formal cardiac rehabilitation program
  • Smoking cessation, because smoking takes a significant toll on your heart, damaging and tightening blood vessels
  • Medications to relieve pain, slow your heart rate, relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure or cholesterol, and prevent blood clots
  • Surgery, such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass
  

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