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Heart Attack vs Angina: The Key Differences


Heart attacks are a severe health risk in the United States, with over 800,000 occurring annually. The consequences of suffering a heart attack are significant and sometimes fatal. The best way to prepare yourself and seek help once a heart attack begins is to know the symptoms beyond chest pain.

The symptoms confuse many people who have never experienced a heart attack, and it’s easy to confuse different types of chest pain for something less significant. Beyond learning the causes of heart attacks, it’s critical to understand the differences between a heart attack vs. angina.

The good news is that you’ve uncovered the perfect resource to learn more about the signs and symptoms of both medical conditions to help you focus on staying healthy. Continue reading to learn and practice heart attack prevention today!

What Is a Heart Attack?

The heart is an essential cog in the engine that is your body. The heart muscle pumps the blood necessary for bodily functions throughout the body. It can’t survive without oxygen, and your health is in dire straits if you are unable to get blood and oxygen to your heart.

A heart attack occurs when a partial or total blockage. The blockage decreases the amount of blood that can flow to the heart muscle for distribution throughout the body. Clogged arteries, specifically the coronary arteries, are the most common causes of heart attacks.

The arteries get blocked due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other harmful substances for your health. The buildup takes time, and many people don’t notice changes in their health or how their bodies feel. The best way to practice heart attack prevention is with consistent visits to your doctor for health checkups.

The common reason behind a heart attack is a piece of plaque breaking off from the artery. The free piece will cause a blood clot in your arteries, restricting blood flow to your heart muscle. The heart loses its oxygen supply, creating severe health consequences that could prove fatal.

Heart Attack Symptoms

It’s critical to know the symptoms to look for if you’re at risk of having a heart attack. The most common sign people notice when a heart attack starts is pain and tightness in the chest. The pain is focused in the center or on the left side of the chest.

Many people feel a full or squeezing sensation in the chest when a heart attack begins. The pain usually lasts for a few minutes before going away. Severe heart attacks can result in the pain returning multiple times, similar to the aftershock after an earthquake.

Pain and discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, and arms are common. It’s vital to look for signs beyond when your chest hurts if you’re worried about a heart attack.

Look for feelings of weakness and lightheadedness if you’re worried about having a heart attack. Other signs to look for are cold sweats, nausea, and vomiting. Knowing the signs could help you save your life or someone else’s when a heart attack strikes.

What Is Angina?

Angina is similar to a heart attack, and many people confuse the two conditions due to their similar symptoms and the feelings they cause. The condition causes pain in the chest resulting from a lack of blood in the heart muscle. It temporarily disrupts your body’s blood flow and causes notable pain and discomfort for people suffering from angina.

Angina isn’t a condition itself. Rather, it’s a warning sign of coronary artery disease, and it’s not something you should ignore.

The best way to learn if you’re at increased threat of coronary artery disease and heart attacks is to look at your family lineage. You can clicl for a dna collection kit to determine your risk level based on your family members’ health conditions.

There are several types of angina to know if you’re worried about staying healthy and protecting your heart. Stable angina follows a predictable pattern, and the most common causes of stable angina are stress and physical activity. You can improve the symptoms with rest.

Unstable angina arrives without warning, and it’s a jarring experience the first time it happens. It can occur when you’re exerting yourself or during a rest period. The most common cause of unstable angina is a blood clot in your artery.

Microvascular angina is one of the more terrifying experiences when the chest is hurting. This type of angina affects tiny blood vessels in the heart and lasts longer than others.

Symptoms of Angina

The most notable symptom to look for with angina is chest pain. Most people that experience angina describe severe chest pain and suffocating pressure. The typical location for this pressure is behind the breastbone.

Most patients experience this pain and pressure for a few minutes. After those minutes pass, the pain disappears, and the patient returns to a normal and stable state of health.

The symptoms you face with angina are often brought on by stress and physical activity. Knowing and understanding the causes of heart attacks and angina is the best way to identify the symptoms and take the necessary action.

Focus on relaxing and participating in stress-reducing activities like meditation and yoga. Your heart health will improve when you adequately protect your heart and combat types of chest pain.

Other common symptoms include jaw and neck pain, nausea, and fatigue. Look for these signs if you’re worried about an elevated risk of heart attacks or angina.

Protect Yourself From a Heart Attack vs. Angina

Knowing the signs and differences between a heart attack vs. angina could save your life, and it’s vital to learn the symptoms if you’re facing an elevated risk for the causes of heart attacks. Heart attacks occur when a partial or total blockage of the heart muscle prevents oxygen from entering. Angina occurs during a temporary blockage from plaque in the artery, a symptom of a more significant problem.

Health is the most significant factor in living a whole and happy life. Explore our engaging and beneficial blog posts for more health tips today!


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