The classic symptom of coronary artery disease is called angina. This is typically described as a dull pain or discomfort in the chest which radiates to the jaw and down the left arm. These symptoms are initially experienced during activity though some patients describe such discomfort following food. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, or indigestion which does not respond to antacids. If your doctor suspects coronary disease, then an ECG may help with the diagnosis but an abnormal result does not exclude heart disease. Other tests such as stress exercise, echocardiography and coronary angiography can be very helpful. If you experience angina which does not resolve with resting, or your nitrate spray, and you continue to feel unwell you may be having a heart attack and you should call for an ambulance immediately.
A heart attack results from a complete blockage of a heart vessel and without urgent medical or interventional treatment, irreversible heart injury or even death can occur!