Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that occurs when the heart muscle doesn't receive enough oxygen-rich blood. It's usually caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries due to atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque inside the artery walls.
Angina may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or tightness in the chest. It may also be felt in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or dizziness.
There are several types of angina, including stable angina, unstable angina, and variant angina. Stable angina occurs during physical activity or emotional stress and typically goes away with rest or medication, while unstable angina can occur at rest or with minimal activity and may be a sign of an impending heart attack. Variant angina, also known as Prinzmetal's angina, occurs when the coronary arteries spasm, causing temporary narrowing and reduced blood flow to the heart.
Treatment for angina may include lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques, as well as medications to control symptoms and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. In some cases, procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) may be necessary to improve blood flow to the heart. It's important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan for angina.