“Angina is not a disease in and of itself; instead, it serves as a warning that an area of the heart is not getting enough oxygen. Angina should never be ignored- you should take it as the warning that it is and seek medical care if you experience chest pain or discomfort.”

What is angina?

Angina is a discomfort or chest pain that occurs when a portion of the heart is not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. It usually occurs due to CAD, or coronary artery disease.  If you have CAD, an artery (or more than one artery) becomes partially blocked with plaque, a waxy substance that can occlude arteries and block blood flow. High cholesterol can influence plaque formation, and high blood pressure can damage arteries, making them stiffer and less pliable, and thus less able to allow blood to flow freely. When plaque builds up, a clot can form, which can increase your risk of having a myocardial infarction (heart attack) if a clot happens to occlude an artery, completely blocking the flow of blood in the affected artery.

What are the types of angina?

It is important to determine which type of angina you have, as treatment may vary since angina can take more than one form.

Stable angina

The most common type.  The heart must work harder than normal to do its job, and anything that increases the workload of the heart may cause pain in stable angina.  With this type, you can usually predict what activities will provoke pain. The pain subsides when you rest or take your medication. Stable angina acts as warning that a heart attack may occur in the future.

Unstable angina

Occuring not only during activity, but also at rest, unstable angina is unpredictable and may not stop when you rest or take medication. This form of angina is a warning that a heart attack may be imminent and should be taken very seriously.

Variant angina

heart health in NJ

Occurring when a coronary artery goes into spasm, this form of angina is very painful and often happens in the middle of the night. Variant angina can often be controlled with medication recommended by your physician.

If you are experiencing chest pain or have angina, don’t wait to come in to be seen.  To rule out cardiac disease or other serious conditions, chest pain should always be assessed by a medical professional.  If you have chest pain, don’t hesitate and make an appointment with Advanced Cardiology today.

Heart Healthy in Mine Hill

Mine HIll is a township in Morris County with lots of options for healthy recreation.  Bike, hike, or snowshoe across trails within Hedden County Park.  Start up a softball game or walk the park for heart healthy activities.  Try a yoga class at donation-based  Bee You Yoga and Wellness for all levels or Three Danes CrossFit gym.