Angina pectoris is a medical term used to describe pain in the center part of the chest that is caused by problems with the heart. Some of the different types of angina pectoris symptoms may include chest pain or tightness, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. A sudden onset of anxiety or profuse sweating may also be a symptom of angina pectoris. Medical attention should be sought immediately when these symptoms are present in order to rule out more serious and potentially life-threatening conditions such as an impending heart attack.
Chest pain is among the most common angina pectoris symptoms. This pain often begins as a feeling of extreme tightness, which tends to be worse during physical activity and may be less noticeable when resting. If left untreated, this pain may be constant and severe. Many patients also report a feeling of pressure or as if something heaving is sitting on the chest.
Pain in areas other than the body may also be angina pectoris symptoms and should be evaluated by a doctor. Sometimes the pain will begin in the chest and radiate to the neck, arms, or shoulders. In other cases, the pain may be felt primarily in the abdomen, back, or even in the jaw. This pain can range from mildly irritating to severe and debilitating.
While pain is the most common symptom, other symptoms may include anxiety, dizziness, or a feeling of nausea. Difficulty breathing and sudden, profuse sweating may also occur. The skin may become pale, and the patient may develop an abnormally fast heart rate, sometimes leading to fainting spells. Lying down may sometimes temporarily relieve these symptoms.
Angina pectoris symptoms can be identical to the symptoms that indicate an impending heart attack. For this reason, these symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency. Once a patient is at the hospital, the doctors will order a variety of tests in order to establish the exact cause of these symptoms. After a diagnosis has been made, treatment can begin if necessary.
Although angina pectoris symptoms do not always indicate a medical emergency, it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Many patients who have had recurrent episodes will be given a prescription medication called nitroglycerin, which is designed to be taken any time the painful symptoms recur. Any questions or concerns about the different types of angina pectoris symptoms should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.