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What is Angina?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Angina is a condition that causes chest pain or discomfort. It occurs when the heart doesn’t receive enough oxygenated blood, which can be a sign that you’re at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Types of Angina

There are two main types of angina:

Stable Angina: This type of angina is typically triggered by physical exertion or stress. It causes chest pain or discomfort that can be relieved by rest or medication. Stable angina follows a predictable pattern and is not considered an immediate medical emergency.

Unstable Angina: Unlike stable angina, unstable angina can occur at rest or with minimal exertion. It is more severe and unpredictable, often indicating an impending heart attack. Unstable angina requires immediate medical attention and should not be ignored.

It’s important to note that people with stable angina can develop unstable angina.

Symptoms of Angina

Common symptoms of angina include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort: Typically described as pressure, squeezing, or heaviness in the chest area

  • Radiating pain: The pain may spread to the neck, jaw, shoulder, or arm on the left side

  • Shortness of breath: Feeling breathless, especially during physical activity or exertion

  • Nausea: A sensation of queasiness or an upset stomach

  • Fatigue: Experiencing unusual tiredness or lack of energy

  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or faint

Causes of Angina

Angina is usually caused by a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles. This narrowing happens when fatty substances build up in the arteries.

You may be at a higher risk, if you: 

Treatment for Angina

As well as making positive lifestyle changes, you’ll likely need to take several different medications for the rest of your life. 

These treatments focus on relieving your symptoms and improving blood flow to the heart: 

  • Nitrates: these help to relax and widen your blood vessels 
  • Beta-blockers: these can reduce the workload on the heart by reducing your blood pressure
  • Statins: medications like atorvastatin can reduce your cholesterol levels which are a risk factor for angina

If the medicines you’re prescribed do not provide sufficient relief, an operation may be recommended.

To find out more about how to treat angina, click here.

Relieve Your Symptoms with Healthera

If you’ve been diagnosed with angina and have been prescribed medications by your doctor, you can use your Healthera app to place your prescription online from your local pharmacy.

It only takes a couple of minutes to set up your prescription on the app, and you can choose whether you’d like to collect it in person or have it delivered right to your door.

To get started, simply click the button below to open or download your Healthera app:

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