Heart Attack-The 9 Signs You Must Know:
A heart attack is a condition that occurs when there is a blockage in the blood vessel that supplies the heart with blood. It is usually caused by a buildup of substances in the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart, which later breaks away to form a clot. Overtime this clot blocks the heart from getting enough oxygen that can lead to the destruction of some parts of the heart muscles. This condition can be fatal, but its treatment has greatly improved over the years; hence it very important to seek emergency medical help when one is suffering from this condition. Not all heart attacks have clear warning signs making it difficult to tell whether one is suffering from it. Below are some of the signs of heart attack.
Signs of heart attack
1.Chest discomfort or Chest Pain
Chest discomfort is one of the common signs of an impending heart attack. If one is having a heart attack or has a blocked artery, he or she may feel pain, heaviness, pressure, discomfort, or squeezing in his or her center of the chest or below the breastbone. Some people describe the pain as “An elephant sitting on my chest”. This chest discomfort appears in several forms, which ranges from a dull ache to a sharp stab. In some cases, chest pain feels burning or crushing, and in others, the pain moves up to neck, jaw, and arms. However, many conditions can cause chest discomfort, but the most life-threatening causes involve heart attack; hence it is a sign of a severe problem that requires immediate medical help.
2.Dizziness or lightheaded
Many things can make an individual feel a faint moment or loose balance for a while. It commonly happens when one stands up too fast or did not have enough to drink and therefore becoming dehydrated. However, if a person feels unsteady that is accompanied by shortness of breath or chest discomfort, it could be a sign that his or her blood pressure has reduced because the heart cannot be able to pump the way it is supposed to. This can be an early warning signs of heart attack; hence the individual should seek immediate medical attention.
It is a reasonable condition for people to snore a little when they snooze, however unusual loud snoring, which sounds like a choking or gasping cab be a warning sign of sleep apnea, which is a common a risk factor of heart disease. This condition occurs when an individual has pauses in breathing for brief moments at night while he or she is still sleeping, which exerts extra stress on the heart. This condition can lead to cardiovascular problems, which can be life-threatening; hence it is significant for a person who experiences this condition to seek medical attention to check whether he or she needs a sleep study. If the study confirms one has Sleep Apnea , then using a medical device called CPAP can be life-saving.
Breaking out into a sudden cold sweat with no apparent reason is a common warning sign of heart attack. When a person sweats when he or she is not in a hot environment, doesn’t have a fever, or is not exercising can be a sign of heart attack, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, lightheadedness, and nausea. If I have had several patients who presenting symptoms was just diaphoresis or breaking out in cold sweat, but they were having massive heart attack. So it is important you call the ambulance immediately.
5.Rapid or irregular pulse
It is usual for a heart to race or add a beat or skip a beat once in a while when one is excited. However, irregular or rapid heart rate for more than a few seconds should be a sign of heart failure or heart attack. Uneven or rapid pulse accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, and weakness could be a clear warning signs of heart attack; hence a person with these signs should get emergency medical attention. Some form of heart attack ca destroy the conduction pathway of the myocardium and therefore leading to different types of irregular heart beat , which then could be the first sign of a person having a heart attack.
6.Nausea and Vomiting
Having an upset stomach can result from many reasons that have nothing to do with one’s heart. However, indigestion, nausea, abdominal swelling, or vomiting are also a warning sign that one may be suffering from a heart attack. This is common in women than in men and results from poor circulation due to blocked blood arteries or weak heart. Most diabetics may not have the typical chest pain as sign of having heart attack. Sometimes, their only symptoms maybe nausea or vomiting. So Individuals who are experiencing this problem especially diabetics should get emergent medical attention.
7.Pain in other parts of the body
Chest pain is a common sign of heart attack, but pain may spread to other parts of the body. In many people who have suffered from a heart attack, the pain begins in the chest and then radiates to the arms, neck shoulders, back, jaw, and abdomen. In men, the pain is mainly felt on the left arm while in women, they experience it between the shoulder blades. But again, this is not a rule of thumb as in medicine symptoms can vary from one per to the other. However, one must seek medical advice immediately.
8.Shortness of breath
Many conditions can cause shortness of breath, buts it can also be a sign of a heart attack. It is common that during heart failure or heart attack, fluids may leak to the lungs making the individual suffer from shortness of breath. People suffering from a heart attack may feel breathless even if they are at rest.
Unexplained and severe weakness can be a warning sign of an impending heart attack. When the heart is not able to pump the blood effectively, blood gets diverted to some of the vital organs of the body, such as the brain, heart, and lungs, and away from the muscles making an individual feel weak.