Angina Symptoms

In general, angina symptoms include pressure or discomfort in or around the chest, arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, throat, or back. There are many triggers that can cause symptoms, including physical exertion, extreme hot or cold, and cigarette smoking. Depending on the type, symptoms can either be relieved by rest and medicine or require immediate medical attention.

Understanding Angina Symptoms

Angina is a type of heart disease that occurs when a person's heart muscle does not get enough blood. Pain and discomfort are the main symptoms of angina. These symptoms:
 
  • Are often described as pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness in the chest
  • Usually start in the chest behind the breastbone
  • May also occur in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, throat, or back
  • May feel like indigestion or heartburn (see Heartburn or Angina Symptoms?).
     
Some people say that angina discomfort is hard to describe or that they can't tell exactly where the pain is coming from.
 
Angina is most commonly felt after physical exertion. Triggers may also include:
 
  • Stress
  • Extreme cold or heat
  • Alcohol
  • Heavy meals
  • Cigarette smoking.
 
Angina is not a heart attack, but it does increase your chances of having a heart attack.
 

Other Symptoms of Angina

Pain and discomfort in the chest area are the classic symptoms of angina. However, a person can also have more vague symptoms. These can include such things as:
 
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness.
     
Written by/reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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