Health Tips for Seniors

Disease of the heart – Heart Block and Angina Pectoris

Heart Block. This is easily identified. The heartbeat is regular like marching feet, but one beat is missed out of a regular sequence. The missed beat may be noticed after every twenty-four regular beats, or possibly after every five beats; the more

Fig. 58. Heart block is heart beat irregularity in which a single heart beat is blocked out every fourth beat, third beat or any regular number of beats.

frequent the missed beat, the more serious the heart block. This is a disease of senior years, and the physician’s help should be of great value here.

Angina Pectoris. Angina pectoris is a heart pain of a come and go nature, varying from a mild pressure sensation to an agonizing chest pain, and frequently extending into the left arm. It is brought on by conditions forcing the heart to work harder, as effort, excitement, heavy meals, and cold weather. It is relieved by rest. The exertion that will cause chest pain to appear is usually known to the patient. Thus, he can predict that walking up a two block hill will almost routinely bring about chest pain and require a five minute rest for relief.

Angina pain is a cry from the heart muscle for more blood. The normal heart artery can carry an excess of blood to the hard-working heart muscle, but the arteries in angina are considerably closed by spasms or hardening arteriosclerotic disease. Heavy emotion, high tension and aged arteries are all suspected of magnifying pain of angina pectoris, so it is wise to eliminate excitement, and to spare the heart any sudden periods of great work. In angina pectoris, the head must rule the heart. The physician frequently prescribes certain drugs effective in relief of pain by relieving narrowing spasm in the heart artery.

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