Angina is a condition when one experiences severe chest pains which can extend to their shoulders, neck, and arms. The reason for the pain is that there is an insufficient supply of blood towards the heart. Pain caused due to angina may feel like there is pressure being applied or a squeezing in one’s chest and often it can be confused for a heart attack but it is not.

Angina happens when the heart does not receive adequate blood, because something has blocked the victim’s arteries or also because of a decrease in blood flow; especially in the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood towards the heart. Blockages of the arteries are different which include:

  • Plaque buildup in the arteries (a fatty composition)
  • Blood clots
  • An enlarged heart
  • A tearing of the aorta which is one the most functional arteries in the body
  • A swelling on the heart especially that of the sac

Angina has different forms and the most popular are the stable one which is usually a result of stress or any activity that might be physical. Stable angina vanished after one has rested and often does not last long. Another form is unstable angina, which can occur when one is not engaged in any physically demanding activity and may even occur when one is resting. Unstable angina has intense pain and can occur repeatedly. The last one is Printzmental angina, which is quite a rare form. It can even attack one when they are sleeping at night. It causes the arteries to be tight and in the process, subjecting one to feel immense pain.

Whereas angina is a result of an imbalance in the demand and supply of blood, a heart attack is a rather more severe manifestation of the same problem in the heart. Heart attacks occur when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. The causes of blockages are similar to that of angina; however, a heart attack does extreme damage to the heart muscle and can even lead to death. Angina is also a sign that one might end up having a heart attack which is more brutal and harsh on one’s health. There are no clear reasons as to why a heart attack occurs at the time when it does. But the blockages in one’s body would have built up over time and when it does occur, it may be triggered by extreme physical activity, emotions, and illegal drug stimulants.