People experiencing an angina attack usually feel discomfort (often a pressure-like pain) in or around the:
It may feel like a squeezing, pressing sensation in the chest. This pain usually lasts two to five minutes.
Other angina symptoms can include:
- Indigestion or heartburn-type sensation
- Shortness of breath
Not all chest pain is angina. Many other conditions can cause chest discomfort or pain, such as:
- Stomach ulcers
- Panic attack
- Muscle problems
- Heart attack
- Inflammation around the heart.
An episode of angina is not a heart attack, but it does mean that you have a greater chance of having a heart attack. The pain associated with angina means that some of the heart muscle temporarily is not getting enough blood. A heart attack, on the other hand, occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is suddenly and permanently cut off, usually by a blood clot. This can lead to serious heart damage.
There are some serious symptoms that indicate you are having a heart attack. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately:
- Pain or discomfort that is very bad, gets worse, and lasts longer than 20 minutes
- Pain or discomfort along with weakness, feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, or fainting
- Pain or discomfort that does not go away when you take medicine for it
- Pain or discomfort that is worse than you have ever had before.