Coronary Artery Disease: When should one seek medical advice?

By  , Expert Content
Mar 28, 2012

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Coronary artery disease is caused due to blockage or interruption of your heart's blood supply by build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. Depending on the severity of blockage of the artery, the symptoms may vary from angina pain (chest pain), a heart attack (myocardial infarction) to sudden cardiac arrest and death. Some people with significant blockage of the coronary artery may have minimal or no symptoms. Prognosis of people with coronary artery disease improves significantly with timely management of the disease.

Consult a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms suggestive of some significant heart problem:

  • Chest pain on physical exertion (such as on climbing stairs, doing exercise), which is relieved by rest.Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing on exertion.
  • Recurrent pain in back, shoulders, jaw or arm, especially on left side either during exertion or at rest.
  • Feeling rapid or strong heartbeats (palpitation).
  • Dizziness, light-headedness or fainting.
  • Unexplained fatigue or tiredness on exertion or at rest.
  • Irregular heartbeat (the heart beat may occasionally stop or it may be very fast).

Consult a doctor immediately if you have:

  • Chest pain on the left side associated with difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. The pain may vary in characteristic from tightness, fullness, a pressure to an ache. Chest pain may or may not be associated with sweating and nausea.

Who to consult

Health professionals, who can be consulted, if you symptoms of coronary heart problem include:

  • General practitioner.
  • Family physician.
  • Nurse practitioner.
  • Physician assistant.


Read more articles on Understand Coronary Artery Disease.

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