Manage Stress And Get Help For Depression
- Manage stress. Stress can hurt your heart. Keep stress low by talking about your problems and feelings, rather than keeping your feelings hidden. Try different ways to reduce stress, such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Get help for depression. Getting treatment for depression can help you stay healthy.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- How concerned should I be about having another heart attack?
- How successful are the treatments for a heart attack?
- Whats the most important thing I can do to prevent a silent heart attack?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
You may not even know youve had a silent heart attack until weeks or months after it happens. Its best to know whats normal for your body and get help when something doesnt feel right. Knowing the subtle signs of a silent heart attack can help you identify one. Be sure to get regular checkups with your healthcare provider. You can also help yourself by treating medical problems that can lead to a heart attack. Switching to a healthier diet and adding exercise can help as well.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/28/2021.
How Is A Silent Heart Attack Treated
Unfortunately, many people dont even realize theyre having a silent heart attack because theyre not having obvious symptoms. But a heart attack of any kind is an emergency. You should call 911 right away even if you dont know for sure that youre having a heart attack.
A 911 operator can tell you if you should take an aspirin. Paramedics can give you medication while youre in the ambulance.
At the hospital, your healthcare provider will:
- Monitor your heart.
- Give you oxygen.
- Give you medicine for pain and to break up or prevent blood clots.
As soon as possible, your provider may do a coronary angioplasty to open a blood vessel that got too narrow or clogged. A stent can be put inside the blood vessel to keep it open so blood can flow through. In some cases, you may need a coronary artery bypass graft to create a way for blood to go around the clogged area.
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When Do I Do If Someone Else Has A Heart Attack
An easy-to-use device called an AED is available in many public places and can be used by almost anyone to treat cardiac arrest. This device works by shocking the heart back into a normal rhythm.
Hereâs how to use an AED:
1. Check responsiveness
- For an adult or older child, shout and shake the person to confirm whether theyâre unconscious. Do not use AED on a conscious person.
- For an infant or young child, pinch their skin. Never shake a young child.
- Check breathing and pulse. If absent or uneven, prepare to use the AED as soon as possible.
2. Prepare to use AED
- Make sure the person is in a dry area and away from puddles or water.
- Check for body piercings or outline of an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
- AED pads must be placed at least 1 inch away from piercings or implanted devices.
3. Use AED
For newborns, infants, and children up to age 8, use a pediatric AED, if possible. If not, use an adult AED.
- Turn on the AED.
- Plug in connector, if necessary.
- Make sure no one is touching the person.
- Push the âAnalyzeâ button.
- If a shock is advised, check again to make sure no one is touching the person.
- Push the âShockâ button.
- Start or resume continue compressions.
- Follow AED prompts.
4. Continue CPR
What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
Take our quizexternal icon to see how much you know about cardiac rehabilitation.
If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as;stroke, kidney disorders, and;peripheral arterial disease .
You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:
- Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
- Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
- Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation;is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
- Physical activity
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
- Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health
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Shortness Of Breath Nausea And Lightheadedness
Shortness of breath can occur with or without a chest pain during a heart attack. Most people dont realize this can happen before or after a heart attack as wellespecially for women..
Research has found that shortness of breath is the third most reported symptom before a heart attack among women and the top symptom during a heart attack.
Dont Become A Statistic
Of course, all of these life-saving treatments are of no use if you dont respond immediately to the warning signs of heart attacks.
According to a study published in Circulation , more than half of the 1.2 million people who have a heart attack or coronary death each year in the U.S. die in an ED or before reaching a hospital within an hour of the onset of symptoms.;
Speed is of the essence in stopping heart attacks. Lifesaving measures are only effective for a brief period of time after symptoms begin, before heart muscle begins to die and your heart ceases to function. Heed the advice. And just. Dont. Wait.
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Why Do Heart Attacks Happen
There are various risk factors that may have contributed to your heart attack, spanning everything from lifestyle to medical conditions and demographics.
Some risk factors cant be changed, such as age, gender, and genetics. Others can be managed such as:
- Medical conditions
If youve already a heart attack, you are at a higher risk of having another one. This is why its so important to understand how making some changes can help reduce this risk.
How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Serious
Some types of chest pain should send you to the emergency room particularly if it lasts for at least five minutes.
Symptoms could include new or unexplained chest pain coupled with shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea, fatigue or lightheadedness. Aside from your chest, the pain, pressure or discomfort also may radiate to your:
- Upper stomach.
Lasting and unrelenting pain in these areas may signal a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, says Dr. Rimmerman. Call 911 to seek immediate treatment to save heart muscle.
Catch The Signs Early
Dont wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack;warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Download the;common heart attack warning signs infographic;|;
Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Symptoms of;a heart attack;can include:
- chest pain;;the chest can feel like it’s being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
- feeling weak or lightheaded, or both
- an overwhelming feeling of anxiety
It’s important to know that not everyone experiences severe chest pain. This is particularly the case with many women. The pain can often be mild and mistaken for indigestion.
It’s the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack and not the severity of chest pain.
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Chest Pain Pressure Squeezing And Fullness
Picture someone having a heart attack, and chances are you imagine them gasping for air and clutching their chest before falling unconscious. While you may experience chest pain during a heart attack, it may not be as dramatic. In some cases, it may not even be described as pain. Instead, it may feel more like pressure or squeezing in the chest.
Chest pain or chest discomfort is caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. During a heart attack, you may feel this pain in the center of the chest. It can last for a few minutes and disappear, or it may recur after a short break.
This symptom is a warning sign of blocked or narrowed arteries. Dont hesitate to report this to your doctor, even if this and other symptoms are not intense.
Rapid Treatment Saves Lives
Treatment may begin immediately in the ED, even before doctors have confirmed that you are having a heart attack. This may include giving you aspirin or nitroglycerin, oxygen therapy, and/or treatment to reduce your chest pain.
If a heart attack is diagnosed , doctors will act quickly to restore blood flow to the heart. This may include giving you clot-busting medicines that dissolve the clots that are blocking the coronary arteries.;
Another treatment is balloon angioplasty, in which a thin, flexible tube with a balloon at the end is threaded through your artery to the blockage. Once the blockage is reached, the balloon is inflated, pressing the clot against the artery walls and restoring blood flow. Doctors also may place a stent in the area of the blockage to hold the artery open and allow blood to continue to flow.
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Can You Prevent A Heart Attack
Heart attacks are usually the result of heart disease, so taking steps to delay or reverse coronary artery disease can help prevent a heart attack. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women, so these steps are important for everyone.
To improve your heart health:
- Don’t smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke. Quitting smoking can quickly reduce the risk of another heart attack or death.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fibre grains and breads, and olive oil.
- Get regular exercise. Your doctor can suggest a safe level of exercise for you.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Manage your diabetes.
- Lower your stress level. Stress can damage your heart.
- If you have talked about it with your doctor, take a low-dose aspirin every day. But taking aspirin isn’t right for everyone, because it can cause serious bleeding.
How Long Does A Heart Attack Last
Initial heart attack symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath, may come and go. Symptoms often last around 10 minutes or longer.
A study published in Critical Pathways in Cardiology found that symptoms lasting less than five minutes are unlikely to indicate a heart attack, while symptoms lasting longer than five minutes should be taken seriously as signs of a myocardial infarction .
However, this finding comes from only one study. So if you have symptoms lasting longer than a few minutes, you need to call 911.
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Control Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
To reduce your risk of a heart attack, you will need to control your cholesterol and manage your blood pressure. Quitting smoking, changing the way you eat, and getting more exercise can help. But if these things don’t work, you may also need to take medicines.
What A Mild Heart Attack Means
A mild heart attack is a common way of referring to what physicians call a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction, or NSTEMI. .
In this type of heart attack, blood flow through one of the coronary arteries was partially blocked, limiting the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
If you were told youve had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart didnt suffer much damage and still pumps normally, Dr. Campbell says.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Its important not to ignore symptoms and wait until they become severe. If you have a concern, talk to your doctor. If heart disease is caught early, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of further problems: eat a;healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, get regular;exercise , maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation , and dont smoke.
What To Think About
You may have regular blood tests to monitor how the medicine is working in your body. Your doctor will likely let you know when you need to have the tests.
If your doctor recommends daily aspirin, don’t substitute non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen , for the aspirin. NSAIDS relieve pain and inflammation much like aspirin does, but they do not affect blood clotting in the same way that aspirin does. NSAIDs do not lower your risk of another heart attack. In fact, NSAIDs may raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
If you need to take an NSAID for a long time, such as for pain, talk with your doctor to see if it is safe for you. For more information about daily aspirin and NSAIDs, see Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke.
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Describe Chest Pain To Your Doctor
Doctors use several pieces of information to determine who is, and who isn’t, having a heart attack. In addition to the description of your symptoms and your heart risk profile, doctors use the results of an electrocardiogram and a blood test called cardiac troponin. But sometimes these don’t immediately show abnormalities. So, what you describe to the doctor and your medical history are extremely important in determining the initial steps in your treatment.
Here are some things your doctors will want to know about what you are experiencing:
What is it that you are feeling ?
Where is the discomfort?
Has it gotten worse or stayed the same?
Is the feeling constant, or does it come and go?
Have you felt it before?
What were you doing before these feelings started?
Clear answers to these questions go a long way toward nailing down a diagnosis. A few seconds of recurrent stabbing pain is less likely to be a heart attack , while pain centered in the chest that spreads out to the left arm or jaw is more likely to be one.
Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
SCAD is a type of heart attack that happens when the inner lining of a coronary artery tears for no clear reason, slowing or blocking blood flow down the artery.
SCAD can occur in otherwise healthy people who do not have the typical risk factors of heart disease. And according to an article in Clinical Cardiology , about 90% of SCADs happen to women between the age of 30 and 60.
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What Do You Do If You Have A Heart Attack
If you have any of the listed symptoms:
- tell someone and ask them to get help right away
The faster you get help, the better your chances of surviving a heart attack. Half of heart attack deaths happen within 2 hours of the first signs.
On average, Canadians wait almost 5 hours before getting medical help. Many people find it hard to believe that they are having a heart attack. They convince themselves that the symptoms are something else and that they will go away.
Not getting help for your symptoms could lead to death. New therapies and drugs can reduce damage and save your life if treatment begins soon enough. Your health care provider will work with you to determine treatment and recovery needs.
If you have suffered a heart attack, having important health information close by can help medical staff treat you. Carry personal health information with you at all times and have it posted by your phone. You may not be able to tell medical staff this information yourself, depending on your condition.
Your list should include:
- telephone and health care number
- medical history
- current medications
- health care provider
- health insurance number for expenses that are not covered under provincial health insurance plans, such as:
- ambulance services
What Are The Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have silent heart attacks or experience less common and less intense symptoms that can go ignored.
Some of the other common heart attack symptoms in women include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Jaw, neck, or upper back pain
The risk of heart attack increases in women after menopause, due to decreasing estrogen levels.
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