Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston
Cardiologists located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX
Chest pain is a common symptom of many medical conditions, some of which are heart-related. If you're experiencing chest pain and are worried about your heart, the cardiologists at Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston can help. They provide state-of-the-art diagnostic services and extensive treatments for a comprehensive range of heart conditions at their Houston and North Cypress, Texas, locations. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Chest Pain Q & A
What causes chest pain?
When you think of chest pain, your mind could well turn to cardiological problems like heart disease and heart attack. However, chest pain is a symptom of numerous conditions unrelated to the heart, including:
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Injured ribs
- Pulmonary embolism (PE)
- Panic attacks
Poor blood flow due to heart problems can also lead to leg pain.
Angina is chest pain or the feeling of pressure on your chest that develops when your heart muscle isn't getting enough oxygen. It first occurs when you're physically active or feeling distressed, and your heart's working harder, which causes an increased need for oxygen.
Attacks are usually brief and go away if you rest. In severe cases, angina can occur when you're resting, too. All genders often experience other symptoms like tightness in their chest, along with the pain.
With so many potential causes of chest pain – some of which are potentially life-threatening– it's important to find out what's wrong promptly to ensure you get the appropriate treatment.
How is chest pain diagnosed?
When diagnosing chest pain, the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston needs to assess your condition to see whether you have an urgent or emergency heart problem. Initial tests could include an electrocardiogram (EKG), chest X-ray, computerized tomography (CT) scan, and blood tests.
Heart attacks tend to cause crushing chest pain and additional symptoms like sweating, breathing problems, nausea, and faintness. If your condition isn't an emergency or occurs after emergency treatment, you might need to undergo further tests, such as:
- An echocardiogram
- Treadmill stress testing
- Exercise or pharmacologic nuclear stress testing
- PET nuclear stress testing
- Holter monitoring
- Mobile cardiac telemetry (MCT)
You might need to have an angiogram, too. This is a coronary catheterization procedure in which the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston accesses your heart through an artery and injects a contrast dye. Your cardiologist then views your heart using fluoroscopy – a special type of moving X-ray.
How is chest pain treated?
Your chest pain treatment depends on the cause of your problem. Medications can be very effective in treating chest pain, including:
- Thrombolytic clot-busting drugs
- Anticoagulants like warfarin
- ACE Inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Calcium-channel blockers
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines
You might require a procedure for some causes of chest pain, for example, angioplasty and stent placement to open blocked or narrowed arteries.
To find out what's causing your chest pain and get the most effective treatment, call the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston today or book an appointment online.