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How Painful Is A Heart Attack

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What Does Chest Pain From a Heart Attack Feel Like?

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The classical symptom of a heart attack is sudden chest pain. The pain typically radiates to the left side of the body affecting the left shoulder, arm, and neck. The pain of heart attack is described as having an elephant on the chest. Levines sign or when a person clenches his/her fist over the sternum is classically thought to predict cardiac chest pain but studies have shown that it has a poor predictive value.

Is Mild Chest Pain Normal

Chest pain may arise and subside every few minutes or over several days. The cause may be related to the heart, the muscles, the digestive system, or psychological factors. Underlying causes of chest pain may be mild, as in the case of acid reflux. Or, they may be serious and indicate, for example, a heart attack.

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Weve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.

Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.

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When Should I See My Doctor

  • severe
  • get worse quickly, or
  • last longer than 10 minutes
  • If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile, try calling 112. Early treatment could save a life.

    See your doctor regularly to manage your general health, test for heart disease risk factors and help you take steps to prevent a heart attack.

    Why Left Arm Pain

    Heart attack symptoms: Pain in this area of the chest can ...

    During a heart attack, the pain radiates to the left side because of the confusion of the nervous system during a cardiac event. Anatomically, the heart is located on the center of the chest but is slightly tilted towards the left. That is same reason why we often feel palpitations and heart rates more on the left side of the chest. In fact, the heart beat can be best palpated or auscultated with the aid of a stethoscope on the area below the nipple on the left chest. This is two finger breadths below the nipple. This is where the apex of the heart is tilted a bit. The left arm pain is more commonly felt by women who suffer an attack than in men who usually only has sudden, severe chest pain.

    The left arm pain noted during a heart attack arises when the nervous system or the neuron messenger system is confused while sending the message that is not well defined as the somatic nervous system. The nerves that supply the heart and the left arm are from the same spinal segment. The pain originates form the left chest then travels to the other parts such as the back, nape and left arm.

    A left arm pain should be treated as a warning sign of a heart attack. The person should immediately seek medical advice to get the medical help she or he needs, even without the presence of chest pain. Early detection is important for preventive purposes. A person can be treated more effectively if the early signs of a heart attack are identified at an early time.

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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

    Why Are Arm Pain And Heart Attack Connected

    Most often a heart attack occurs when a obstructs blood flow into your heart muscle . This commonly causes a cramping or squeezing pain in the center or right side of your chest. Heart attack symptoms are extremely variable, but sometimes the pain in your chest extends to one or both shoulders and arms.

    In addition to shoulder and , you may also have , aching or discomfort in other areas of your upper body, such as your neck, jaw or back, without any chest pain. This happens more commonly in women than in men.

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    Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

    Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

    • chest pain a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest
    • pain in other parts of the body it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms , jaw, neck, back and tummy
    • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
    • feeling sick or being sick
    • an overwhelming sense of anxiety
    • coughing or wheezing

    Although the chest pain is often severe, some people may only experience minor pain, similar to indigestion. In some cases, there may not be any chest pain at all, especially in women, older people, and people who have diabetes.

    It’s the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.

    Heart Attack Warning Signs For Women

    Is chest pain a sign of heart attack?

    While chest pain is often a symptom of a heart attack among women, the pain is often described as pressure or tightness instead of the heavy weight on the chest pain that men describe.

    In some cases, there may only be other symptoms and very little or no chest pain.

    Women are also more likely than men to experience nontraditional heart attack symptoms, such as:

    • unusual or extreme fatigue, which may develop several days before other symptoms and may make you feel like youre coming down with the flu
    • pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen that may feel like heartburn or indigestion
    • throat and jaw pain, often without any chest pain
    • symptoms that come on gradually

    Women are often reluctant to seek medical attention for heart attack symptoms, partly because of delays in recognizing heart attack symptoms since theyre not commonly talked about.

    While women are slightly less likely than men to have heart attacks before menopause, the odds essentially are equal after menopause.

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    How Do You Know If Chest Pain Is A Heart Attack

    A sensation of pressure, pain or squeezing in the center of your chest is a classic symptom of heart attack. It’s common for this pain to radiate to your jaw, neck, back or arm. Even if it spreads outside the chest, it’s called chest pain or, in medical terms, angina.

    Likewise, people ask, how do I know if my chest pain is serious?

    If you’re having angina with any of the following signs and symptoms, it may indicate a more serious condition, such as a heart attack:

  • Pain in your arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back accompanying chest pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Sweating.
  • Dizziness or fainting spells.
  • Beside above, how do you know if chest pain is heart related? Heartrelated chest painPressure, fullness, burning or tightness in your chest. Crushing or searing pain that radiates to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and one or both arms. Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back, or varies in intensity. Shortness of breath.

    Besides, when should you be concerned about chest pain?

    When to See the Doctor for Chest PainCall 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain: A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone. Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back.

    What does a mini heart attack feel like?

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    Comparison Of How Left Arm Pain From A Heart Attack Feels Vs From A Muscle Problem

    When people feel pain in their left arm, they are often worried that it could be a sign of a heart attack, says Nichole M. Polin, MD, FACC, Director, Cardio-Oncology Clinic, Ochsner Health System.

    The pain can be more confusing if orthopedic issues are also present such as arthritis of the shoulder or neck or a rotator cuff injury, continues Dr. Polin.

    Typically, if a person is having a heart attack, pain in the left arm would not be the only symptom.

    More often, this pain would also be associated with a pain or discomfort in the chest, excessive sweating, nausea, weakness or shortness of breath.

    Musculoskeletal pain is usually reproducible with motion and palpation and would not be associated with the above symptoms.

    The feeling in the left arm from a heart attack is often described by patients as a shooting pain.

    Its sudden and intense, and may have a burning quality to it.

    However, pain of a muscular origin would not be shooting or burning, nor would it suddenly streak down the arm while youre at rest and not even using the arm unless it is a muscle spasm.

    And in that case, the spasm likely would be more focal rather than involving the entire arm.

    A muscle spasm can be sudden and attention-getting, but it often lasts just seconds or less. A spasm may recur every few minutes and go on like this for a while.

    Left arm pain from a heart attack would not behave this way.

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    When To Call The Doctor

    If you have any signs of heart disease, call your health care provider right away. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away or dismiss them as nothing.

    • You have chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack
    • You know you have angina and have chest pain that doesn’t go away after 5 minutes of rest or after taking nitroglycerine
    • You think you may be having a heart attack
    • You become extremely short of breath
    • You think you may have lost consciousness

    Sit Down And Stay Calm

    Do you know the symptoms of a heart attack?

    Try to relax and remain calm while you wait for help to arrive.

    If youre at home alone, open the front door and sit on the floor near the entrance.

    This will help the paramedics easily find you in case you lose consciousness before the ambulance arrives, and give them a flat surface on which to begin CPR if necessary.

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    Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack That You May Not Know

    Just as no two hearts beat the same, no two heart attacks are the same, even for the same person. It is different for everyone and the warning signs someone experiences before a heart attack can vary drastically from person to person. Heart attacks happen when one or more of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to your heart, become blocked. This means blood and oxygen cant reach the heart and causes damage to the heart muscle.

    Chest discomfort or pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attack. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, aching, numbness, squeezing or fullness in your chest. Many people are familiar with this warning sign, as its the classic sign often depicted on TV or in the movies. Sometimes people describe the pain or discomfort as an elephant sitting on my chest. It can spread to your arms, neck, jaw or back, lasting for several minutes or coming and going in waves. However, it is important to remember that in some people, a life-threatening heart attack can start slowly with only mild pain or discomfort. In other cases, people might not get any chest pain at all.

    Did you know there are some less obvious and less common warning signs that people might experience before a heart attack? Here are five that you might not expect:

    What To Do When Heart Attack Happens

    • If you or someone near you experiences heart attack symptoms like shoulder pain, heart attack may be suspected and 911 should be called within the first 5 minutes. Ensure you seek treatment immediately, most people die because they doubt the symptoms could be heat attack related.
    • You might be tempted to drive the patient to the emergency room yourself, but it is better if you wait for the ambulance. The crew will know how to keep the patient alive. However, if you are having a heart attack, do not drive yourself unless you do not have any other choice.
    • Before the ambulance arrives, try keeping the patient calm by sitting him down or helping him lie down. Secondly, if the person is not allergic to aspirin make them chew and swallow a baby aspirin. The effects are felt faster when it is chewed than when swallowed whole. If you notice the person has stopped breathing, a person qualified to perform CPR should perform the procedure on him, or you can do it. If you have no idea how to administer a CPR, the 911 operator can guide you through it.

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    Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms

    Recognising the symptoms of a heart attack and calling Triple Zero could save your life or the life of a loved one. Its important that everyone, both male and female, know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, because early treatment is vital. The longer a blockage is left untreated, the more damage occurs. The most common heart attack warning signs are:

    • Chest discomfort or pain . This can feel like uncomfortable pressure, aching, numbness, squeezing, fullness or pain in your chest. This discomfort can spread to your arms, neck, jaw or back. It can last for several minutes or come and go
    • Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint or feeling anxious
    • Nausea, indigestion, vomiting
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with or without chest discomfort
    • Sweating or a cold sweat.

    When To See A Doctor

    The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Chronic Chest Pain

    Even if youve ruled out a heart attack or stroke, its always a good idea to follow up with your doctor if you have unexplained numbness in any part of your body. This is especially important if it doesnt seem to go away once you change positions.

    During your appointment, make sure to tell your doctor:

    • when your symptoms started

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    What Is A Heart Attack

    A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.

    Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.

    Is It A Heart Attack Or Angina

    It’s dramatic when an actor on TV or the movies has a heart attack. But in real life, symptoms can be more subtle and hard to identify. And because heart attack and angina symptoms are so similar, it may be hard to tell what’s going on.

    But if you know the differences — and the reasons behind them — you’ll learn to get treatment sooner, and maybe live longer, too.

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    Waiting For An Ambulance

    If you have had a heart attack, it’s important that you rest while you wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.

    If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet while you wait for the ambulance.

    Aspirin helps to thin your blood and improve blood flow to your heart.

    What A Heart Attack Doesnt Feel Like

    Does A Numb Left Arm Mean A Heart Attack?

    Not all chest pain is a heart attack symptom. Pain isunlikely to be heart-related when it:

    • Is momentary,lasting only for a few seconds.
    • Feels like apricking sensation.
    • Is in a small,well-localized area of your chest.
    • Can bereproduced when you press on your chest or move your arm.
    • Radiates belowyour abdomen and into your legs.

    The best way to guard yourself from a heart attack is to eat a healthy diet, do regular aerobic activity, avoid smoking, manage diabetes if you have it, have regular checkups with your primary care provider, and know and control your cholesterol levels, says Dr. Menon.

    If you notice a sudden changein your ability to perform physical activity, get to a doctor right away.

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