What Is the Difference Between Angina and a Heart Attack?

heart attack

Whether you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or angina, due to the similarities between the two conditions, it can be difficult to tell the difference.

Angina is a condition in which part of the heart does not receive an adequate blood supply, usually caused by narrowed coronary arteries. On the other hand, a heart attack is caused by one or more blocked arteries. While a heart attack can cause permanent damage, angina is a warning sign of a heart condition, such as heart disease or a heart attack.

Regardless of whether you’re experiencing a heart attack or angina, it’s vital to seek medical attention right away. Still, knowing the differences can help you receive the proper care.

Symptoms of Angina

The main symptom of angina is chest pain. However, people often feel chest pain in different ways. You may experience heaviness, fullness, squeezing, aching, pressure, burning, or discomfort in your chest.

Furthermore, the pain can move to other parts of your body, including your arms and shoulders, throat and neck, jaw, or back. Men are more likely to feel pain in their neck, shoulders, and chest, while women are more likely to feel pressure or a crushing sensation in their chest, jaw, stomach, throat, or back.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

In many cases, heart attacks have symptoms; however, you can have a heart attack with no symptoms – known as a silent myocardial infarction. It is imperative that you know the symptoms of a heart attack, as it is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms include:

  • Pain, pressure, discomfort, or heaviness in your chest, in your arm, or below your breastbone.
  • Fullness or feelings of indigestion.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Discomfort that moves to your jaw, throat, arm, or back.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sweating.
  • Weakness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Anxiety.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Irregular heartbeat.

Treatment for Angina and Heart Attacks in Fairfax, VA

To learn more about treatments for angina and heart attacks, speak with a professional at Prima Medicine. Schedule a consultation at our Fairfield location at 703-382-5776, our South Riding location at 703-775-4801, or our Merrifield location at 703-957-7271. You can also book an appointment online here.

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