Chest pain is any discomfort in the heart. It varies in quality, intensity, duration and location. It may feel like a strong, stabbing pain or a dull ache. It may be a sign of a serious heart problem. The causes are:
1. A heart attack
6. Aortic dissection
7. Gastrointestinal causes
8. Lung related causes
9. Muscle or bone related causes
HOW IS CHEST PAIN DIAGNOSED?
A physical examination by a general physicianwill help you identify the underlying cause. The doctor may check your medical history and if he suspects cardiac issues, an ECG may be recommended. Blood tests, chest x-ray and angiogram may also follow.
HOW IS CHEST PAIN TREATED?
The general surgeon will usually prescribe medication like nitroglycerin and blood thinners to try and open the clogged arteries. Surgical repair and lung re inflation may also be conducted for relevant cases. Antacids may also be prescribed for reflux relief.
DID YOU KNOW?
Anti anxiety medication can help in reliving chest pain that happens due to stress.
Chest pain may occur either due to the onset of a cardiovascular disease or because of anxiety and acid reflux. Slight pain in the chest for a short period of time may be ignored, but one should immediately seek medical aid if the symptoms are too severe. For instance, seek help if you face the following symptoms of heart problems-
• The pain and pressure is too intense
• The pain lasts for about 15mins and more
• The pain spreads from the chest area to the arms and the jaw
• If you feel drowsy and nauseous
Various cardiovascular disease are generally responsible for chest pain. Some common ones are-
1. Angina- Known to be a pain which results when the coronary arteries become narrow. These arteries are responsible for blood supply to the heart. Generally, the arteries tend to become narrow due to patchy fat deposits and the accumulation of plaque. Angina pain can be very dull and uncomfortable. It usually stops when one takes rest.
2. Heart attack- The medical term for heart attack is myocardial infraction. A heart attack is the result of heart dysfunction, because of a blood clot in the coronary arteries that restricts the supply of blood to the organ. Heart attack symptoms include severe pain in the chest, which generally spreads to the arms and the jaw too. The pain is very similar to Angina chest pain, but more severe.
3. Ischemic heart disease- The condition may result in an ischemic stroke, as a blockage in the blood vessels supplying blood from the heart to the brains, restricts the efficient blood flow. Ischemic heart disease thus, damages brain cells causing severe impairments and complications.
4. Heart failure- This condition is also called congestive heart failure. This cardiovascular disease occurs when the heart cannot pump blood properly to all the parts of the body. The symptoms of this condition may vary from chest pain to discomfort.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, which generally leads to acid reflux and oesophagitis, can also cause chest pain along with lower abdominal pain and nausea. Surprisingly even anxiety is a common cause of chest pain and heart problems.
If your chest pain persists make sure to consult a doctor and seek medical help. Your physician may ask you to get certain blood tests to determine the reason for the pain. Once the cause of the pain is determined the necessary treatment will be recommended by the doctor.
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