A heart attack happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked or substantially diminished. The blockage is mostly caused by a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other chemicals in the arteries leading to the heart (coronary). Plaques are the fatty, cholesterol-containing deposits. The process of plaque buildup is known as Atherosclerosis. A plaque can rupture and form a clot, which may prevent blood flow. A shortage of blood flow can harm or destroy a portion of the heart muscle.
Catch the Signs Early
If you notice any of the warning signs of a heart attack, get medical attention immediately. Some heart attacks are intense and sudden, but others start slowly with discomfort or mild pain. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience it.
- Chest Discomfort: Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the middle of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. Squeezing, painful pressure, fullness, or discomfort may be experienced.
- Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body: Symptoms can include discomfort or pain in both or one arm, jaw, the back, neck, or stomach.
- Shortness of Breath: This can happen with or without chest pain.
- Other Signs: Other possible signs include nausea, breaking out in a cold sweat, or lightheadedness.
Symptoms Vary Between Men and Women
As with women’s, men’s most common heart attack symptoms are chest pain (Angina) or discomfort. However, women may suffer additional symptoms that are less commonly associated with a heart attack such as nausea, shortness of breath, vomiting, and jaw or back pain. Men are more prone than women to experience classic chest pain and radiating arm pain. These gender disparities in heart attack symptoms highlight the importance of understanding that heart disease affects men and women differently. It emphasizes the importance of enhanced awareness and specialized healthcare measures to promote early detection and effective treatment for all.
Experiencing Signs of a Heart Attack?
Experiencing symptoms of a heart attack is a critical moment that requires prompt attention. Common symptoms include chest pain or discomfort, which is often characterized as a squeezing or pressure-like sensation that might radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, or back. Other warning signs can include cold sweats, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea, and profound fatigue.
- Call 108: Call your local emergency number immediately. On the way to the hospital, emergency workers might begin treatment.
- Stop All Activity: Lie or sit down, in whatever position is most comfortable.
- Take Your Nitroglycerin: Take your normal nitroglycerin dosage.
- Take ASA (Aspirin): Swallow and Chew ASA (Aspirin), if you are not allergic or intolerant, one 325 mg pill or two 81 mg tablets should be enough.
- Rest and Wait: Stay cool while waiting for assistance to arrive.
- Keep a list of your medications in your wallet and on your phone: Emergency personnel will want this information.
Women’s Signs of Heart Attack
The most common heart attack sign is discomfort or chest pain. However, women can have a heart attack without experiencing chest pain. They may experience pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, shortness of breath, lightheadedness or fainting, dizziness upper back pressure, or extreme fatigue.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease
- Chest Pain: Chest pain is defined as discomfort or pain felt along the front of your body, between (and including) your neck and upper abdomen. Chest pain can arise when the heart does not receive adequate blood or oxygen. The intensity and type of pain might differ from person to person. The severity of the heart condition is not always related to the degree of discomfort.
- Some people may experience intense pain, while others may just experience slight discomfort.
- You may feel the pain under your breastbone or in your arms, neck, jaw, stomach, or upper back.
- Angina causes chest pain that worsens with exercise or emotion and goes away with rest or nitroglycerin.
- Shortness of Breath: When the heart is unable to pump blood as efficiently as it should, blood accumulates in the veins that connect the lungs to the heart.Fluid escapes into the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath. This is a symptom of heart failure. You may notice shortness of breath:
- While you’re resting
- During activity
- When you’re resting flat on your back – it can even wake you up.
- Coughing or Wheezing: Coughing or wheezing that does not go away can be another sign that fluid is accumulating in your lungs. You might also cough up pink or red mucus.
- Swelling in the Ankles, Legs, or Feet: Swelling (edema) in your lower legs is another indicator of heart disease. When your heart isn’t working properly, blood flow slows and backs up in your leg’s veins.This causes fluid to accumulate in your tissues. You may also notice some weight gain and swelling in your stomach.
- Fast or Uneven Heartbeat (Palpitations): If your heart can’t pump blood as efficiently, it may beat quicker to keep up. You may notice your heart pounding or thumping. A fast or irregular heartbeat can potentially be an indication of Arrhythmia. This is a problem with your heart rate or Rhythm.
When to Call The Doctor
If you have any signs of heart disease, call Dr. Ravinder Singh Rao right away. He is a renowned cardiologist known for his expertise in treating heart conditions. Contacting Dr. Ravinder Singh Rao can offer you the specialist attention and assistance you require to properly manage and treat Heart-related illnesses. Don’t wait for the symptoms to go away or dismiss them as insignificant. Call 108 or the local emergency number if:
- You are experiencing chest pain or other indications of a heart attack.
- You have angina and chest pain that does not go away after 5 minutes of rest or after taking Nitroglycerin.
- You believe you are having a heart attack.
- You experience severe shortness of breath
- You believe you have lost consciousness.