Font Size
A
A
A

Angina Pectoris (cont.)

Angina Pectoris Symptoms

Angina itself is a symptom (or set of symptoms), not a disease. Any of the following may signal angina:

  • An uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest
  • It may also feel like tightness, burning, or a heavy weight.
  • The pain may spread to the shoulders, neck, or arms.
  • It may be located in the upper abdomen, back, or jaw.
  • The pain may be of any intensity from mild to severe.

Other symptoms may occur with an angina attack, as follows:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Sweating or cold, sweaty skin
  • Nausea
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Pallor (pale skin)
  • Feeling of impending doom

These symptoms are identical to the signs of an impending heart attack described by the American Heart Association. It is not always easy to tell the difference between angina and a heart attack, except angina only lasts a few minutes and heart attack pain does not go away.

  • If you have never had symptoms like this before, sit down. If you are able, call your healthcare provider, call 911, or go to the closest hospital emergency department.
  • If you have had angina attacks before and this attack is similar to those, rest for a few minutes. Take your sublingual nitroglycerin. Your angina should be totally relieved in five minutes. If not, you may repeat the nitroglycerin dose and wait another five minutes. A third dose may be tried but if you still have no relief, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Angina Pectoris

Chest Pain
Chest Pain Overview Chest pain has a variety of noncardiac and cardiac causes, some of which can be very serious. Signs and symptoms of chest pain may include burning, squeezing, o...learn more >>
Cholesterol FAQs
Cholesterol FAQs Test your cholesterol IQ by reading about cholesterol FAQs (cholesterol facts) like the risk factors for high cholesterol (diet, lack of exercise, smoking, here...learn more >>
Cholesterol Tests
Cholesterol Tests Cholesterol tests measure the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. The test is also referred to as a lipoprotein profile or lipoprotein analysis. T...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Angina:

Angina - Symptoms

What are your angina symptoms?

Angina Pectoris - Treatment

What was the treatment for your angina pectoris?

Angina - Exams and Tests

How was the exams of your angina established?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Angina Pectoris »

Angina pectoris is the result of myocardial ischemia caused by an imbalance between myocardial blood supply and oxygen demand.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary