Angina is a pain or discomfort in your chest that will usually happen during physical exertion or at a time of extreme emotion. It is caused by coronary heart disease
. Fatty material called plaque can build up in your arteries making them narrower and limiting the blood flow. This is what causes the chest pain.
If the chest pain continues for 10 minutes then call 999.
Angina is not a heart attack but it is a sign that you are at risk of one. You should make steps to lead a healthier lifestyle immediately.
If you experience angina you should stop and rest and if that doesn’t help then take a dose of your angina medicine. Wait for five minutes. If your symptoms don’t improve then take another dose. Wait another five minutes and if your angina has not improved over those 10 minutes then you should dial 999, particularly if it gets worse quickly.
If you have yet to be diagnosed with angina but you believe you may have it then you should ask for a referral from your primary care physician. At HMC we will run a series of tests to see what the situation is and start you on a course of treatment. There are medications you can take for angina and also medical procedures that may be necessary to treat the underlying coronary heart disease, but the most effective way of improving your heart health will be through lifestyle changes.