Is My Heart Permanently Damaged
When a heart attack occurs, the heart muscle that has lost blood supply begins to suffer injury. The amount of damage to the heart muscle depends on the size of the area supplied by the blocked artery and the time between injury and treatment.
Heart muscle damaged by a heart attack heals by forming scar tissue. It usually takes several weeks for your heart muscle to heal. The length of time depends on the extent of your injury and your rate of healing.
The heart is a tough organ. Even though part of it may have been severely injured, the rest of the heart keeps working. But, because of the damage, your heart may be weakened, and unable to pump as much blood as usual.
Learn more about heart damage detection.
When It Comes To Heart Attacks Christmas Eve Is A Real Killer
Over indulgence of salt, fatty foods and alcohol puts our bodies at greater risk too. We also tend to get less sleep and exercise due to holiday parties and other holiday obligations like shopping and decorating. That leads to added stress and a compromised immune system.
Upper respiratory inflictions like colds, the flu and COVID-19 run rampant in winter. They also put us further in jeopardy. Hospitals are also understaffed during holidays.
While we dont know exactly why there are more deadly heart attacks during this time of year, its important to be aware that all of these factors can be snowballing contributors to increasing the risk for a deadly cardiac event, said Elkind. Dont ignore heart attack warning signs because you dont want to spoil the holidays, the consequences could be much worse.
More research in the journal Circulation suggests the Merry Christmas Coronary and the Happy New Year Heart Attack phenomenon may be attributable to the postponement of death concept.
Postponement of death or the death deferral effect is an idea studied by sociologist David Phillips. His research showed that mortality rates dipped before a symbolically meaningful event and peaked after.
Phillips found after studying deaths of Jews around Passover, Some Jews were briefly able to prolong life until after the Jewish holiday.
What Is A Heart Attack
Heart attack signs and symptoms in men and women: Chest pain or discomfort Shortness of breath Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, arm, or shoulder Feeling nauseous, light-headed, or unusually tired.
A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart muscle doesnt get enough blood.
The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.
Coronary artery disease is the main cause of heart attack. A less common cause is a severe spasm, or sudden contraction, of a coronary artery that can stop blood flow to the heart muscle.
You May Like: How To Find Resting Heart Rate
Christmas Holidays A Heart Risk Factor
There are probably a number of reasons for it. But we think one of the main drivers of that phenomenon is that during the holidays, people are less likely to seek medical attention when they have an emergency, Elkind said.
You know, in part, it may be because people are traveling, so theyre in an unfamiliar environment, and they dont exactly know where the hospitals are and so forth, Elkind continued. And it may be because elderly family members or vulnerable people are at home while the rest of the family is vacationing. So its harder for them to get help.
What Are The Early Signs Of A Heart Attack
There are heart attack symptoms in women that are different from heart attack symptoms in men. But the common signs and symptoms they usually share are as follows:
- Chest pain or discomfort: The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain at the center of the chest.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This may include pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach or in one or both arms.
- Shortness of breath: This may occur with, before or without chest pain or discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Nausea or light-headedness
Meanwhile, heart attack symptoms in women sometimes go unnoticed. These include the following:
- Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw
- Unusual fatigue
- Treating or managing conditions that can be a risk factors of heart attack such as diabetes
Also Check: Why Does Heart Rate Increase After Eating
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
Risk Factors And Heart Attack Prevention
Some risk factors such as race, sex, age, and family history cannot be changed, but there are things you can do to lower your chances of having a heart attack.
Manage your blood pressure. Find information on knowing and managing your blood pressure numbers on the High Blood Pressure webpage.
Manage your cholesterol levels. For more information, visit the American Heart Associations website.
Maintain a healthy weight. Eat healthy meals and stay active.
Quit smoking. Visit the SD QuitLine or call 1-866-SD-QUITS for tools and support to quit tobacco.
Manage your diabetes. People with diabetes can lower their risk by controlling their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Take all your medications as prescribed.
Attend your follow up appointments as scheduled.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Heart Palpitations
Why Choose The Hospitals Of Providence For Your Early Heart Attack Care
The Hospitals of Providence has EHAC teams who genuinely care about you and your loved ones. Our hospitals are located across El Paso to provide accessible care to the communities in this city and nearby areas. At the same time, we have received multiple recognitions for the compassionate care and patient-centered cardiovascular services we offer.
Some of the accreditations and recognitions we received in recent years are as follows:
For Sierra Campus
- Chest Pain Reaccreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Care
- ACC HeartCARE Center Designation by the American College of Cardiology
- Grade A rating for patient safety in the Leapfrog Groups Fall 2019 Safety Score
Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: You Feel Strangely Anxious
Studies show that women with anxiety are more likely to have reduced blood flow to the heart compared to those without anxiety. And though the same hasnt been shown for men, its still important for guys to consider the relationship between anxiety and heart attack risk, warns Segal.
Thats because many symptoms of anxietylike chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitationsare also signs of a heart attack, especially if youre not in the middle of dealing with a stressful situation that might normally cause these kinds of symptoms.
This can potentially mask heart problems in many patients and lead to significant delays in diagnosis and treatment, explains Segal. In other words, youre probably not going call 911 if you think your racing heart is just a mood thing.
Anxiety can put extra strain on your heart too. Thats because feeling tense causes your blood vessels to constrict and speeds up your heart rate, which could both trigger a heart attack, says Segal.
Also Check: Can Anemia Cause Heart Palpitations
Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: Youre Physically Exhausted
If your day-to-day routines or workouts suddenly seem unusually hardor youre too worn out to do your normal tasks altogether, its time to visit the doctor, says Robert Segal, M.D., FAAC, founder of Manhattan Cardiology.
Feeling extra tired can signal weakness of the left ventricle of your heart, the main muscle responsible for pumping blood from the heart to the rest of the body, says Segal. If it stops working, the heart isnt able to pump properly, which can result in a heart attack.
And if the left ventricle isnt pumping as strongly as should be, your heart might not be able to circulate enough blood throughout your body, or to fill up properly with fresh blood in between heartbeats. To compensate, the body diverts blood away from muscles and sends it to more vital organs like the heart and brain, according to the American Heart Association. This will leave you exhaustedeven after a full nights sleep, since your tissues arent getting enough fresh, oxygenated blood.
Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack Or Stroke
Sometimes the signs of a heart attack or stroke are obvious. Sometimes they aren’t. Here are lists of the “classic” and not-so-classic signs of each. If you If you notice one or more of the signs below in yourself or someone else, or you’re really worried that you or someone you are with is having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Better safe than sorry.
Don’t Miss: Heart Attack And Arm Pain
Can I Prevent Having A Heart Attack
In general, there are many things that you can do that may prevent a heart attack. However, some factors beyond your control especially your family history can still lead to a heart attack despite your best efforts. Still, reducing your risk can postpone when you have a heart attack and reduce the severity if you have one.
About Half Of All Heart Attacks Are Mistaken For Less Serious Problems And Can Increase Your Risk Of Dying From Coronary Artery Disease
Image: goir/Getty Images
You can have a heart attack and not even know it. A silent heart attack, known as a silent myocardial infarction , account for 45% of heart attacks and strike men more than women.
They are described as “silent” because when they occur, their symptoms lack the intensity of a classic heart attack, such as extreme chest pain and pressure stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw sudden shortness of breath sweating, and dizziness.
“SMI symptoms can feel so mild, and be so brief, they often get confused for regular discomfort or another less serious problem, and thus men ignore them,” says Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of the vascular disease prevention program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
For instance, men may feel fatigue or physical discomfort and chalk it up to overwork, poor sleep, or some general age-related ache or pain. Other typical symptoms like mild pain in the throat or chest can be confused with gastric reflux, indigestion, and heartburn.
Also, the location of pain is sometimes misunderstood. With SMI, you may feel discomfort in the center of the chest and not a sharp pain on the left side of the chest, which many people associate with a heart attack. “People can even feel completely normal during an SMI and afterward, too, which further adds to the chance of missing the warning signs,” says Dr. Plutzky.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Heart Rate Elevated
What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
Take our quiz 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
Never Ignore These Signs And Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Reported By:| |Source: DNA webdesk |Updated: Dec 10, 2022, 12:56 PM IST
India is seeing a rise in the number of heart attacks. Although many people think that the COVID-19 vaccination is to blame, there is no evidence to support this. Heart attack has its own warning signs and symptoms. As it is known from the name that in a silent heart attack, not much is known beforehand. Even though the symptoms that precede this are very minor and do not significantly harm a person, they may conceal a future heart attack’s warning signs. It is important to know about the symptoms. Do not ignore even a single sign of a heart attack.
Early signs of a silent heart attack
Chest discomfort- Chest pain or discomfort or congestion is the most common sign of a future heart attack. It might be slight, like the sensation you get after removing a heavy object from your left hand, or it might be extremely difficult to handle. People may experience heartburn or indigestion during a silent heart attack, leading them to believe that gas may be to blame. But if this is happening again and again, then consult a doctor, otherwise, it can lead to a heart attack.
Also Check: What Is Heart Valve Disease
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
/6case Study Of Less Obvious Symptoms
John, a 62-year-old lorry driver, shared his experience of having a heart attack and not even realizing it, via Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland . It was while driving in Scotland that John felt hot and sweaty for a few minutes.
It was a feeling Ive never had before, he said. He pulled over his lorry and took a break for 20 minutes. Soon he felt completely fine and began driving again.
It was a year later that a doctor told John that what he had experienced was in fact a heart attack.
Don’t Miss: Can Smoking Cause Heart Attack
Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: You Have A Serious Snoring Problem
Snoring like a buzz saw, waking up gasping for air, or feeling tired despite going to bed at a reasonable time could all be signs that you have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder marked by pauses in breathing. And if left untreated, it could increase your chance for a heart attack.
Those pauses in breathing can seriously stress your body, raising your blood pressure, causing your heart to beat irregularly, and upping the risk for heart disease, says Segal. And all of those things can make a heart attack more likely.
How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
In general, your heart attack symptoms should decrease as you receive treatment. Youll likely have some lingering weakness and fatigue during your hospital stay and for several days after. Your healthcare provider will give you guidance on rest, medications to take, etc.
Recovery from the treatments also varies, depending on the method of treatment. The average hospital stay for a heart attack is between four and five days. In general, expect to stay in the hospital for the following length of time:
- Medication only: People treated with medication only have an average hospital stay of approximately six days.
- PCI: Recovering from PCI is easier than surgery because its a less invasive method for treating a heart attack. The average length of stay for PCI is about four days.
- CABG: Recovery from heart bypass surgery takes longer because its a major surgery. The average length of stay for CABG is about seven days.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Difference Between Bypass Surgery And Open-heart Surgery
Treatment For A Heart Attack
The goal of treatment for a heart attack is to relieve pain, preserve the heart muscle function, and prevent death.
Treatment in the emergency department may include:
- Intravenous therapy, such as nitroglycerin and morphine
- Continuous monitoring of the heart and vital signs
- Oxygen therapy to improve oxygenation to the damaged heart muscle
- Pain medicine to decrease pain. This, in turn, decreases the workload of the heart. The oxygen demand of the heart decreases.
- Cardiac medicine such as beta-blockers to promote blood flow to the heart, improve the blood supply, prevent arrhythmias, and decrease heart rate and blood pressure
- Fibrinolytic therapy. This is the intravenous infusion of a medicine that dissolves the blood clot, restoring blood flow.
- Antithrombin or antiplatelet therapy with aspirin or clopidogrel. This is used to prevent further blood clotting.
- Antihyperlipidemics. These medicines lower lipids in the blood, particularly low density lipid cholesterol. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic medicines. They include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin. Bile acid sequestrantscolesevelam, cholestyramine, and colestipoland nicotinic acid are two other types of medicines that may be used to lower cholesterol levels.
You may need other procedures to restore blood flow to the heart. Those procedures are described below.