If you’ve ever felt like something is squeezing your heart, you may have angina, which happens when the heart fails to receive enough oxygenated blood. Angina is often a sign of an underlying issue affecting the oxygen supply to the heart.
If you have chest pains or other symptoms of heart disease, it’s wise to see a board-certified physician like Sam Morayai, MD, here at Burlington Medical Center in Burlington, North Carolina – A state-of-the-art medical facility.
There are many myths about this type of chest pain. Learning to separate fact from fiction when it comes to angina can help you stay informed and on top of things when it comes to your heart health.
Myth: Angina is just chest pain
When it comes to angina, there’s more to the story than chest pain. Angina is accompanied by other systems, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Burning sensation in the chest
- Numbness and tingling
- Fatigue when exercising
Learning to recognize these symptoms can prompt you to schedule a visit or an evaluation.
Myth: All chest pain is angina
The terms chest pain and angina are often used interchangeably. However, it’s important to know that not all chest pain is angina, and that’s why it’s important to see Dr. Morayati for a heart health check.
Angina is characterized by left-sided or central chest pain that radiates to the left arm, shoulder, neck, jaw, or back. Shortness of breath, or pain limited to the jaw, neck, left arm, shoulder, are sometimes associated with angina.
Myth: Only older adults get angina
If you’re under the age 40, you may fail to recognize the signs of angina. You might assume that your symptoms are heartburn, mistakenly believing that you’re too young to have angina. While angina less commonly affects people under the age of 40, you’re more likely to experience angina if you have risk factors like smoking, diabetes, obesity, or a family history of heart disease.
Myth: A heart attack is on the horizon
Angina does not cause permanent damage, and having angina doesn’t mean that a heart attack is on the way. However, narrowed arteries are the most common cause of angina, and this means that you must take steps to improve your heart health.
A buildup of fatty plaque is the most likely reason your arteries have narrowed, and there are things you can do to boost your heart health, like lowering your cholesterol, losing weight if you’re overweight, and adopting a heart-healthy diet.
Protecting your heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but it isn’t inevitable. It’s never too late to start taking care of your heart health. We can help you make your heart a top priority. Whether you’re concerned about risk factors or you need help adopting heart healthy habits, we can provide the guidance and expertise to help you succeed.
To get started, reach out to our office to schedule a visit with Dr. Morayati or book your appointment online today.