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The Difference Between Angina and Heart Attack

Dr. Anuj R. Shah and a female doctor

Chest tightness or discomfort doesn’t only have to be a warning sign of a heart attack. The symptoms of angina may be very similar to the former but both heart attack and angina have significant differences, especially in their causes and a few of their symptoms. For a Cardiovascular Specialist in New Jersey, it is very important to know the reasons behind chest discomforts in order to get treatment immediately and prevent their lethal consequence.

Angina occurs when the blood can hardly pass through the artery and the heart isn’t getting enough blood supply. To improve the blood supply, the heart will struggle to beat harder and faster. As a sign that your heart needs to rest, symptoms of angina occur. This includes discomfort, heaviness or tightness of chest, discomfort in the arm, neck, jaw, and chest that can range from mild or dull to severe. If you suspect that you have angina, see a Cardiologist for a thorough checkup.

On the other hand, a heart attack happens when plaque cracks and a blood clot blocks the artery. The blood flow to the heart muscle gets restricted or blocked due to the clot. Without oxygen, the heart muscle gets damaged and could lead to death. Chest pains in the form of discomfort, tightness, pressure, fullness, burning, and squeezing may be felt.

Unlike a heart attack, angina doesn’t cause permanent heart damage. Some people experience episodes of angina before having a heart attack and may continue to experience it afterward, while others never experience angina before or after a heart attack.

To better keep track of your heart’s health, visit Apex Heart and Vascular Center, a Heart and Vascular Center in Passaic, New Jersey today.

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