Angina Symptoms

What is Angina?

This typically is a discomfort, heaviness or pain in the centre of the chest, spreading down to the arm, up into the neck, jaw or the teeth.

It can be associated with a sensation of breathlessness, nausea or sweating. If these are the symptoms you are experiencing, than you must lose no time in having them evaluated.

Investigating Angina

Normally, your cardiologist will see you promptly and arrange for a resting Electrocardiogram (ECG) and an Exercise Treadmill/Bike test (ETT). If you are unable to perform physical exercise for any reason, such as arthritis or other physical disability, your cardiologist may well arrange a different type of non-invasive test, such as a Stress Echocardiogram (DSE) . If your cardiologist thinks your symptoms are so severe and you are at high risk, he will waste no time in arranging for you to have a Coronary Angiogram with a view to proceeding to Coronary Angioplasty (PCI) or Coronary Bypass Surgery (CABG).

ECG of a heart attack. The changes in the red circles mean emergency angioplasty is needed.

Medical therapy for Angina:

When Angina is suspected the cardiologist will need to start drug treatment.

  • GTN spray-to help you if you get pain
  • Aspirin to thin the blood
  • A cholesterol lowering tablet (statin) is also known to reduce the risk of you having a heart attack or stroke
  • Finally, choosing from Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Nitrates, Nicorandil, Ranolazine or Ivabradine, which all help to treat angina
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