Living With Angina

Since the most common form of angina (stable angina) occurs in patterns, if you are living with angina, you should know what triggers the chest pain, what it feels like, how long it lasts, and what relieves it. If you are living with angina, you should also have a thorough knowledge of the medicines you are taking and know how to control your condition.

 

Living With Angina: An Introduction

Angina is not a heart attack, but it does mean that you are at greater risk of having a heart attack than someone who does not have the condition. The risk is even higher if you have unstable angina. For these reasons, it is important that you know:
 
  • The usual pattern of your angina, if you have it on a regular basis
  • About your medicine
  • How to control your angina
  • The limits of your physical activity
  • How and when to seek medical attention.
     

Living With Angina: Knowing Your Pattern

Stable angina usually occurs in a pattern. You should know:
 
  • What causes the angina pain to occur
  • What it feels like
  • How long it usually lasts
  • Whether or not it is relieved by rest or medicine.
     
After several episodes, you will learn to recognize when you are having an angina attack. It is important for you to notice if the pattern starts to change. Changes to be aware of in the pattern of your angina pain may include:
 
  • Occurring more often
  • Lasting longer
  • Being more severe
  • Occurring without exertion
  • Not going away with rest or angina medicine.
     
These changes in the pattern may be a sign that your symptoms are getting worse or becoming unstable. You should seek medical attention if these things happen. Unstable angina suggests that you are at high risk for a heart attack in the near future.
 
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