What’s The Difference Between Angina And A Heart Attack
Angina is pain felt in your chest often caused by coronary heart disease. As the symptoms of angina are similar to a heart attack, its important to know how to distinguish between the two. If you havent been diagnosed with angina and you start experiencing chest pain that feels similar to the symptoms of a heart attack, phone 999 immediately.If you have angina and you start experiencing chest pain symptoms similar to a heart attack:
- sit down and rest
- use your glyceryl trinitrate spray that youve been prescribed
- if the pain still persists after a few minutes, take another dose of your spray
- if the pain doesnt go away a few minutes after your second dose, dial 999 immediately.
Signs Symptoms And Complications
Not all heart attacks begin with the sudden, crushing chest pain that often is shown on TV or in the movies. In one study, for example, one-third of the patients who had heart attacks had no chest pain. These patients were more likely to be older, female, or diabetic.
The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person. Some people can have few symptoms and are surprised to learn they’ve had a heart attack. If you’ve already had a heart attack, your symptoms may not be the same for another one. It is important for you to know the most common symptoms of a heart attack and also remember these facts:
- Heart attacks can start slowly and cause only mild pain or discomfort. Symptoms can be mild or more intense and sudden. Symptoms also may come and go over several hours.
- People who have high blood sugar may have no symptoms or very mild ones.
- The most common symptom, in both men and women, is chest pain or discomfort.
- Women are somewhat more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, unusual tiredness , and pain in the back, shoulders, and jaw.
Some people don’t have symptoms at all. Heart attacks that occur without any symptoms or with very mild symptoms are called silent heart attacks.
Heart Attack Testing: Faq
Q: Why do I have to submit to a bunch of tests?A: Tests help the doctor determine if a heart attack occurred, how much your heart was damaged and what degree of coronary artery disease you might have. The tests screen your heart and help the doctor determine what treatment and lifestyle changes will keep your heart healthy and prevent serious future medical events.
Q: Whats the difference between invasive and non-invasive tests?A: Non-invasive cardiac tests measure your hearts activity through external imaging and electrocardiography. Invasive tests include drawing and testing samples of your blood, and inserting and threading a thin hollow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel to get an inside view.
Q: How can I learn more about the tests that may be performed?A: These diagnostic tests and procedures can reveal if you had a heart attack, how much damage was done and what degree of coronary artery disease you have.
Q: What types of treatment will I get after the hospital diagnoses my heart attack?A: If youve had a heart attack, you may have already had undergone certain procedures to help you survive your heart attack. Those same procedures can help to diagnose your condition. Such procedures include:
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What To Do If You Experience Heart Attack Symptoms
Unlike the classic crushing chest pain, these symptoms dont guarantee that your heart is in immediate danger. But they could indicate that trouble could be brewing down the road, so make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can.
If youre fortunate enough to have symptoms, listen to your body and get them checked out, Park says.
If your doctor suspects that a heart attack could be looming, he might recommend an EKG, a test measures the hearts electrical activity and shows if your heart is damaged. He might also call for a coronary angiogram, which detects blockages in your arteries.
And if you experience any classic symptoms that signal youre having a heart attack right now, call 911 ASAP. These include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, breaking out into a cold sweat, or discomfort in the arms, neck, or jaw.
Of course, the best way to prevent a heart attack is to improve overall health by lowering high blood pressure, maintaining a normal body weight, and abstaining from smoking.
Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack You Should Never Ignore
Heart disease is the literal leading cause of death among men and women in the United States . While coronary artery disease is the most common kind of heart disease, every 40 seconds someone in the Unites States has a heart attack, making it exceptionally common also. That is almost two heart attacks every minute! Fortunately, modern medicine has been able to increase the odds of heart attack survival by a lot. In fact, among people who were hospitalized for a heart attack, there is a 90-97% survival rate . Of course, the statistics vary based upon age, gender, the kind of heart attack, and the number of arteries involved.
Your arteries take blood and oxygen away from your heart in order for it to be pumped into other areas of your body. Heart attacks typically occur when there is a blockage of a coronary artery. Coronary arteries are the pathways that bring oxygenated blood to your heart muscle to keep it pumping. The damage of a heart attack is often determined by how long a section of the heart muscle goes without blood flow. Though many heart attacks are considered “silent,” many come with a host of signs to alert you that something is amiss within your body. We’ve outlined the most common signs of a heart attack in hopes that you’ll be able to help yourself or a loved one if a heart attack strikes but fingers crossed it doesn’t.
Cardiac Arrest Vs Heart Attack
Sometimes there is confusion between the terms “cardiac arrest” and “heart attack.” A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is damage to the heart muscle that occurs due to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, depriving the heart muscle of the oxygen it needs to function properly.
Cardiac arrest means that the heart stops beating and death is imminent. A heart attack, if severe, can lead to cardiac arrest, and this is what occurs when a heart attack is fatal. However, other conditions, such as serious arrhythmias or shock, can also cause cardiac arrest.
What Does A Mini Heart Attack Feel Like
You must have often heard of other people having something called a mini heart attack or mild heart attack. Although there is no such term as a mini heart attack in the medical dictionary, it can be compared with a mild heart attack or a silent heart attack.
Mild heart attack
- You get a mild heart attack when there is a partial block in your coronary artery that causes mild signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- If your doctor tells you that you have had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart is not damaged much and is working properly.
Silent heart attack
- Sometimes, you may not even know that you have suffered a heart attack. Such a heart attack is usually said to be a silent heart attack. Your doctor accidentally may discover a past attack on your routine ECG when you go for your regular check-up.
- While in other instances, a heart problem or another heart attack could make the doctor suspect that you may have had a silent heart attack. This may similarly show up in your ECG when you visit your doctor for a different heart problem.
- Such a heart attack might have occurred months or years before without you even knowing about it.
- A silent heart attack is usually lacking the typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath. Symptoms of a heart attack like mild pain in the throat or chest can be confused with hyperacidity, indigestion, and heartburn.
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What To Do When Youre Having A Heart Attack
- Chew one adult-strength aspirin to help keep your blood from clotting.
- Stay on the phone with the emergency operator as you wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.
If youre not sure its a heart attack, dont ignore your symptoms. Call for help anyway. If you are having a heart attack, the sooner you get to the hospital, the sooner your care team can work to restore blood flow and reduce further heart damage.
Heart Attack Symptoms In Men #: Cold Sweats And Dizziness
The more vague signs of a heart attack in men include breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling sick to your stomach, or experiencing lightheadedness. The dizziness that might hit you may be so strong that you faint.
You may not have any of these symptomsor you may experience all of them, as well as chest pain and difficulty breathing.
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Heart Attack Symptoms In Men #: Shortness Of Breath
Its one thing to be out of breath following an intense workout. But if you find yourself unable to catch your breath after only mild exertion or no exertion at all, you should pay attention. Of all the heart attack signs in men that dont involve pain or pressure, shortness of breath is perhaps the one to be taken most seriously.
Men who have had heart attacks say the feeling is like being extremely winded after a long run. If you find yourself in this situation, dont panic. Instead, call 911 or have someone close to you make the call.
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.
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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
Classic Vs Lesser Known Signs Of A Heart Attack
By the time youre halfway through this blog post, someone in the United States will have had a heart attack. According to the CDC, a heart attack happens every 40 seconds on average, affecting more than 800,000 Americans every year.
Of course, seeking treatment at the first sign of a heart attack is critically important for preventing serious heart damage and other complications. Even though you might think its easy to spot a heart attack when it happens, it can actually be surprisingly difficult unless you learn to recognize some of the less common signs.
At Phoenix Heart, PLLC, our team knows that as important as it is to provide state-of-the-art care and treatment for cardiovascular issues, its also important to make sure our patients are educated about their heart health. In this post, the team reviews some of the common and not-so-common heart attack signs you should be watching out for.
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Symptoms Of Womens Heart Attacks
A heart attack is a potentially fatal disturbance of the hearts blood flow. These signs may help someone seek medical assistance sooner, perhaps saving their life.
Women have a lower first-time survival rate than males. This may be because the symptoms vary by gender. Unusual symptoms or a silent heart attack affect women more. Some disorders that raise risk, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome , are not present in male biology.
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.
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Lack Of Oxygen In The Blood
If levels of oxygen in the blood decrease due to carbon monoxide poisoning or a loss of normal lung function, the heart will receive un-oxygenated blood.
This will result in the heart muscles being damaged, triggering a heart attack.
Page last reviewed: 28 November 2019 Next review due: 28 November 2022
Treatment For A Heart Attack
Understandably, treatment for those diagnosed with heart attack can be complex. But this section on heart attack treatments will help you talk with your doctors and healthcare providers.
As you learn about your treatment plan, dont be afraid to ask questions. Be sure to voice any concerns you may have.
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Early Symptoms Don’t Really Sound Like The Hollywood Heart Attack Experience Is That Typical
There are two main ways that people present with heart attacks, Dr. Xu says:
- Sudden A person may or may not have any symptoms previously, but all at once a plaque deposit ruptures, triggering a chain of events and a sudden heart attack.
- Gradual The other presentation happens slowly as coronary disease progresses. In this situation, an artery is getting narrower over time. When the artery is narrowed down to more than 70 percent, a person will start to have warning symptoms ahead of time, especially with physical exertion.
What To Do Once You Notice Heart Attack Symptoms
The better you can recognize signs of heart problems, the more likely youll be to take them seriously if they ever appearand to respond quickly. You may not experience all, or any, heart attack warning signs. However, f you suspect a heart attack, call paramedics and get to an emergency room quickly.
Ask your doctor if chewing up an aspirin is advisable if heart attack symptoms develop. Thats a common first response, but clear it with your physician first.
If it turns out to be an anxiety attack, well, you can get treatment for that and be grateful your heart is still okay. And take preventative steps that include exercise, sufficient sleep, and a heart-healthy diet.
HEART ATTACK SYMPTOMS IN WOMEN
Do women experience different heart attack symptoms than men? While they can experience many of the same symptoms discussed here, including chest pain, theyre also more likely than men to feel symptoms that may not seem related to the heart.
Commonly reported signs of heart attack in women, especially those over the age of 50, can include pain in one or both arms pain in the jaw, neck, or upper back areas shortness of breath nausea and even vomiting and cold sweat. For more, please see these University Health News posts:
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Common Heart Attack Treatments
Youll find many common heart attack treatments listed here. For more detailed explanations of these treatments, see our page devoted to cardiac procedures.
- Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries.
- Angioplasty, Laser: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery.
- Artificial heart valve surgery: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.
- Atherectomy: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.
- Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle.
- Cardiomyoplasty: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patients back or abdomen.
- Heart transplant: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donated healthy human heart.
- Minimally invasive heart surgery: An alternative to standard bypass surgery.
- Radiofrequency ablation: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.
- Stent procedure: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
- Transmyocardial revascularization : A laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the hearts pumping chamber.