Stable, unstable and variant angina are the three types of chest pain or discomfort that an individual can experience when not enough blood is circulating to the heart.
Among other risk factors, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can trigger its occurrence. Angina generally occurs as discomfort in your thorax region (chest). According to the webpage Webconsultas.com, it is generally described as feeling discomfort, tightness, or pressure, or as having a chocking or burning sensation in the chest. It can also reach other parts of the body such as the neck, jaw, arms or the area surrounding the stomach.
After experiencing an angina attack, it is very important for the patient to be seen by a specialist in order to rule out it being a serious heart condition, to increase the likelihood of survival, to manage symptoms and to improve one’s quality of life. Not all forms of discomfort or pain in the chest turn out to be angina however.
The seriousness of this condition depends on how the patient’s ventricles are functioning (located in the lower chambers of the heart) and the extent of the damage caused by the lack of blood flow, as this can also lead to a heart attack or hernia.
According to the Spanish Society of Cardiology, there are three different types of angina:
- Stable: Occurs when the heart works harder than usual. Is treated through rest and medication.
- Unstable: Does not follow a pattern and can occur without making any physical effort. Does not spontaneously go away with rest or through medication. Is a sign that a heart attack could occur.
- Variant: Occurs when the body is at rest. Is treated with medication.