Angina is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. Angina (an-JIE-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) is a symptom of coronary artery disease.
Angina, also called angina pectoris, is often described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest. Some people with angina symptoms say angina feels like a vise squeezing their chest or a heavy weight lying on their chest. Angina may be a new pain that needs to be checked by a doctor, or recurring pain that goes away with treatment.
Although angina is relatively common, it can still be hard to distinguish from other types of chest pain, such as the discomfort of indigestion. If you have unexplained chest pain, seek medical attention right away.
There are several types of angina.
Stable or chronic angina
Stable angina occurs when the heart is working harder than usual, for instance, during exercise. It has a regular pattern and can be predicted to happen over months or even years. Rest or medication relieves symptoms.
Unstable angina does not follow a regular pattern. It can occur when at rest and is considered less common and more serious because rest and medication do not relieve it. This version can signal a future heart attack within a short time ? hours or weeks.
Variant and microvascular angina
Variant or Prinzmetal?s angina and microvascular angina are rare and can occur at rest without any underlying coronary artery disease. This angina is usually due to abnormal narrowing or relaxation of the blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the heart. It can be relieved by medicine.