Symptoms of Angina
Rest and medicine can often relieve symptoms of angina. The most common signs and symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and an indigestion-type sensation. An episode of angina is not a heart attack, but the symptoms of the two conditions can be similar. If the pain or discomfort continues to worsen or lasts longer than 20 minutes, seek immediate medical attention.
People with symptoms of angina usually feel discomfort (often a pressure-like pain) in or around the chest, shoulders, jaw, neck, back, or arms. It may feel like a squeezing, pressing sensation in the chest; this pain usually lasts two to five minutes. Angina pain is usually caused and made worse by exercise and eased by rest.
Other angina symptoms can include:
- Indigestion or heartburn-type sensation
- Shortness of breath
An episode of angina is not a heart attack, but it does mean that you have a greater chance of having a heart attack. Angina pain is an indication that some of the heart muscle is temporarily 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.
Certain symptoms indicate that 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 angina medicine
- Pain or discomfort that is worse than you have ever had before.