What You Need to Know About Angina
Angina is the medical term used to describe the sharp, crushing pain that one experiences when there is a limited supply of blood to the heart causing the latter to be deprived of much needed oxygen. In most cases, the angina can be felt in the chest and can radiate towards the limbs. Most medical professionals do not treat angina as a disease on its own. Instead, it is seen as a sign or a symptom of an even more serious heart condition such as Coronary Heart Disease, or what most people refer to as CHD. In a CHD, there is a build up of plaque along the walls of the arteries. This causes narrowing of the path where the oxygen-rich blood can pass through.
Although most people see angina as only one kind, there is actually four major types of angina that a person might suffer from. Of these four, it is the stable angina that is considered to be the most common. In a stable angina, the onset is pretty much predictable. For one, a stable angina typically takes place only after too much physical exertion. While it is not a heart attack per se, it is commonly a sign that a heart attack is about to occur.
A more serious form of the stable angina is the unstable angina. With the unstable angina, the pain can be felt even when one is resting. This is the reason why most people refer to it as the sleeping angina. Because it can be quite unpredictable, people suffering from unstable angina are usually required to see a doctor immediately. As with a stable angina, it is also a sign that a heart attack is about to take place. Keep in mind that, in an unstable angina, no amount of medicine can lessen the pain that comes with it.
Another form of angina is known as the Variant Angina, or more formally as the Prinzmetal’s Angina. In this kind of angina, the person typically feels an extreme pain in the chest area even when he is sleeping. This severely painful condition generally takes place between midnight and early morning. Although the pain in a Variant Angina can be likened to what you would feel in an unstable angina, the former can be dealt with using various medications.
Microvascular Angina is another form of angina. Compared to the other types of angina, Microvascular Angina is the most severe and is the type that lasts longer with some cases going as long as 30 minutes. Just like the unstable angina, this kind of angina cannot be controlled using medication.
With more than 7 million Americans suffering from some form of angina, it is only right that you equip yourself with the right knowledge of what you are up against. Aside from this, it would also be to your advantage if you have an AED unit on hand just in case you would need to revive someone. While most AED units are used in arrhythmia, it can still help you ascertain whether a patient needs to be given electric shock or a CPR is a much better choice.