Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What Does A Heart Attack Look Like

Don't Miss

About Half Of All Heart Attacks Are Mistaken For Less Serious Problems And Can Increase Your Risk Of Dying From Coronary Artery Disease

What a heart attack looks like

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 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 Womens 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 .

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.

What To Do If You Experience False Heart Attack Symptoms

It is a common practice to seek immediate medical attention if you have chest pain but only 60 percent of such cases are actually diagnosed with a real heart attack. In almost 40 percent cases, the symptoms experienced are the symptoms of a false heart attack and may occur due to other conditions such as gallbladder issues, pneumonia or muscle spasm in the chest.

The best thing to do is to determine whether you are suffering from real or false heart attack symptoms is to get an ECG or echo-cardiogram test done. The associated symptoms too give an idea of the condition but an ECG can exactly differentiate between a false heart attack and a real one.

However, it is always better to get diagnosed and seek medical help if you experience any kind of symptoms which suggest a heart attack. Waiting too long to check whether the symptoms are that of a real heart attack or false one can be life threatening in some cases.

Once you know what the symptoms of a false heart attack are, you will be able to judge quite well whether you are experiencing a real or false heart attack. However, there is no harm in seeking immediate medical help and confirming your doubt at the earliest by getting an ECG test done. Timely medical advice can help you get the right treatment and can help to prevent recurrence in future.

Also Read:

You Feel Dizzy Or Lightheaded

A lot of things can make you lose your balance or feel faint for a moment. Maybe you didnât have enough to eat or drink, or you stood up too fast.

But if you suddenly feel unsteady and you also have chest discomfort or shortness of breath, call a doctor right away.

It could mean your blood pressure has dropped because your heart isnt able to pump the way it should, Bufalino says.

Read Also: Damaged Left Ventricle

Less Likely To Be A Heart Attack

Sensation of pain, or of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or burning

Sharp or knifelike pain brought on by breathing or coughing

Gradual onset of pain over the course of a few minutes

Sudden stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds

Pain in diffuse area, including a constant pain in middle of chest

Pain clearly on one side of the body or the other

Pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back

Pain that is localized to one small spot

Pain or pressure accompanied by other signs, such as difficulty breathing, a cold sweat, or sudden nausea

Pain that lasts for many hours or days without any other symptoms

Pain or pressure that appears during or after physical exertion or emotional stress or while you are at rest

Pain reproduced by pressing on the chest or with body motion

Chest Pain Pressure Squeezing And Fullness

What Are The Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

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.

Also Check: Does Pain Increase Blood Pressure Heart Rate

Waiting For Emergency Medical Attention

If a doctor has previously prescribed heart medication for heart conditions, a person should make sure that they have taken this medication. Examples of such heart medication include beta-blockers and nitroglycerin.

Others may take an aspirin tablet, which can thin the blood. However, a person should only take aspirin if a doctor or first responder has recommended it.

Urgent treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of serious damage to the heart tissue.

What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Attack

Several health conditions, your lifestyle, and your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease and heart attack. These are called risk factors. About half of all Americans have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking.2

Some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.

Learn more about risk factors for heart disease and heart attack.

Recommended Reading: Thrz Calculator

What To Do If You Have Heart Attack Symptoms

Because certain symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can signal any number of health concerns, its important to be aware of other possible heart attack symptoms.

If you suddenly become nauseated and are having trouble catching your breath or you have serious jaw pain, call 911. Tell the 911 dispatcher you may be having a heart attack.

You may be reluctant to call 911 if youre not sure whether you or a loved one is having a heart attack, but its better to err on the side of caution.

A heart attack is often a life threatening emergency. The faster you get medical attention, the better chance you have of a good recovery.

When to call 911

Any time you have pain or pressure in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes and is different to pain youve felt before, its important to get medical attention as soon as possible. This is especially important if you have other symptoms, too, such as:

  • shortness of breath

nearly a quarter of all heart attacks in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

A silent heart attack may resolve on its own if, for example, the clot blocking blood flow dissolves or becomes dislodged and is absorbed into the body. But a silent heart attack can still cause damage.

If a doctor discovers that you had a silent heart attack, you may want to consider cardiac rehabilitation and the type of care that any other person whos had a heart attack receives.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

What does having a heart attack feel like?

Heart attack is a leading cause of death in New Zealand. Learn to recognise the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, so you know what to do if you see or experience them.

Minutes matter – if you think you are having a heart attack, call 111 now.

Too many New Zealanders die or live with permanent disability because of the lack of awareness of heart attack warning signs and delays in seeking medical help. Even if you have had a heart attack, you may experience another – and next time, the symptoms can be different

Read Also: Can Tylenol Lower Blood Pressure

What Should I Do If I Am Having An Anxiety Attack

If you think you might be having an anxiety attack, the first step to handling it is to recognize that you are having one. This is why knowing about triggers and symptoms of an attack is important in the long-run. Once you can identify that youre having an anxiety attack, you can carry out steps to help you cope with it.

After recognizing that you are having an anxiety attack or are about to have one, you should take deep breaths. Deep breaths can help prevent hyperventilation and slow a racing heartbeat. Try to relax your muscles at this time and dont tense up too much. By taking deep breaths and allowing your muscles to be loose, you can encourage your body to be more relaxed and decrease the feeling of losing control.

Because anxiety attacks happen in response to a certain situation or circumstance, removing yourself from that situation, if possible, can be helpful in moving past the symptoms of an attack. Symptoms usually subside once the stressor has been removed.

Overall, the most important idea in helping yourself during an anxiety attack is to try a variety of techniques to keep yourself calm. Taking deep breaths is one of the most widely used relaxation techniques. It is also useful to take some time to understand how you respond to anxiety and develop ways to lower anxiety and promote calm.

After an attack has passed, take some time to reflect on any circumstances or stressors you think could have been triggered.

You May Like: Can Flonase Cause Heart Palpitations

What Does A Corgidor Look Like

The Corgidor is a mixed breed dog a cross between the Corgi and Labrador Retriever dog breeds. Mid-sized, even tempered, and energetic, these pups inherited some of the best traits from both of their parents. They often look similar to a Labrador with short legs.

The Doberman pinscher has a long head and a sleek, muscular body. The ears are often cropped to stand erect, and the tail is usually docked short. The Doberman pinscher has a short, sleek and shiny coat that is black, dark red, blue or fawn with rust-colored markings on the face, body and tail.

Don’t Miss: Does Tylenol Lower Your Blood Pressure

Silent Heart Attack Symptoms

Sometimes a heart attack doesnt cause obvious symptoms. This is known as a silent heart attack.

Still, a silent heart attack may offer some warning signs, even if theyre brief and mild. These typically include variations on classic heart attack symptoms, such as:

  • Chest discomfort that lasts a few minutes, or comes and goes
  • Discomfort in your neck, jaw, arms, back, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath

Also Check: 10 Second Trick To Prevent Heart Attack

Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms

Why Don

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.

Recommended Reading: Flonase Chest Pain

Symptoms You Never Suspected

So, what does a heart attack really feel like?According to Dr. Menon, patients most often report:

  • Heartburn-like chest pain. Its quite common for heart attacks to feel like acid reflux.
  • Shortness of breath. Some heart attacks dont cause pain at all. These silent heart attacks are most common in people with diabetes, older adults and those who have had bypass surgery.
  • Profound fatigue. This symptom is most common in elderly patients and can be misdiagnosed as a flu-like illness.
  • Nausea and sweating. While these symptoms can come with heavy chest pain, they also can occur by themselves, especially in women. These symptoms commonly accompany heart attacks to the inferior wall of the heart.

When To Call 911

Heartburn, breathlessness and other subtle symptomsarent always heart attacks. How can you tell a minor ailment from a heartattack?

Its challenging, admits Dr. Menon. And thats abig reason why people dont get to the doctor sooner when theyre having aheart attack.

In general, call 911 if:

  • Symptoms occur suddenly and persist for more than five to 10 minutes.
  • Shortness of breath and chest discomfort occur while youre at rest.
  • You develop symptoms and are a middle-aged or older adult and have a history of smoking, are diabetic or have a strong family history of heart disease. Although premenopausal women are usually protected from heart attacks, younger women who smoke, have diabetes or have ovarian dysfunction also are vulnerable.

It will take a clinical evaluation along with blood tests and an electrocardiogram to definitively diagnose a heart attack, says Dr. Menon.

You May Like: Is Congestive Heart Disease Hereditary

Type #: A New Left Bundle Branch Block Equivalent To A Stemi

This must not be forgotten. At least a couple times, I recall proper treatment for STEMI was not instituted because the clinician either did not recognize that a new left bundle branch block is a STEMI equivalent or assumed the LBBB was old. You can learn the diagnostic criteria for this bundle branch in Left Bundle Branch Block ECG Review.

Sometimes, of course, there is no prior ECG for comparison, and you have to actually use your clinical judgment. Always err on the side of caution, and look out for the patient. It is better to activate the cath lab and find normal coronary arteries than to not and have a patient go into cardiogenic shock as usually this type of MI indicates left main or proximal LAD involvement.

This is what a LBBB looks like in the precordial leads.

Note: There are criteria such as the Sgarbossa criteria and certain signs such as Chapmans sign and Cabreras sign to diagnose an acute MI in the setting of a prior known left bundle, but the sensitivity is somewhat low.

Here is one last thing when trying to solidify this topic in your brain. A right ventricular infarct frequently accompanies an inferior STEMI although unheard of to occur isolated, it may be just rare or under-recognized. An RV infarction can be detected with a right-sided ECG. It is a good idea to do a right-sided ECG in all inferior STEMI cases, as RV involvement can change the management approach. Learn the complications of STEMI in STEMI Topic Review.

– by Steven Lome, DO, RVT

What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose This Condition

Do you know how a heart attack looks like?

Anyone with heart attack symptoms should undergo a physical examination, including checking pulse, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and listening to heart and lung sounds.

Other tests used to diagnose heart attack include:

  • Electrocardiogram : This is one of the first tests done when someone comes to an ER with heart attack symptoms. This test uses sensors called electrodes that attach to the skin of your chest. The electrodes pick up electrical activity in the heart and show it as a wave on a display or printout. By looking at the wave, providers can see the strength and timing of the electrical signal as it travels through your heart. When the signal doesnt travel like it should, the shape of the wave changes, which can indicate a heart attack or similar problems. EKG for a heart attack is usually continuous to monitor for changes in heart activity.

STEMI and non-STEMI heart attacks

The wave of your heart’s electrical signal is divided into sections using letters of the alphabet starting at P and ending at U. One particular section of the wave, the ST segment, shows activity in the heart’s lower two chambers. Those chambers are the left ventricle and right ventricle.

  • Blood tests. During a heart attack, the damage to heart muscle cells almost always causes a chemical marker to appear in your bloodstream. Blood tests that look for that marker are among the most reliable methods to diagnose a heart attack.

Recommended Reading: Can Tylenol Help Heart Palpitations

What Puts You At Risk

Your odds of having a heart attack go up with age, and men are more likely to have one than women. A family history of heart disease also makes one more likely. Smoking raises your chances of a heart attack. So does having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and being obese. Stress, a lack of exercise, and depression can, too.

What Makes You Worry That Chest Pain Is Serious Like A Heart Attack

When is chest pain serious? That dull burning feeling in your chest doesnt seem to be going away, and even feels like it is getting worse. Is it a heart attack, or ?

Its a vexing question, one that millions of people and their doctors face each year. Whats the problem? Chest pain can stem from dozens of conditions besides , from pancreatitis to pneumonia or panic attack.

Millions of Americans with chest pain are seen in hospital emergency departments every year. Only 20% of them are diagnosed with a heart attack or an episode of unstable , a warning sign that a heart attack may happen soon. A few have another potentially life-threatening problem, such as pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection . Some are experiencing regular angina, which occurs when part of the heart isnt getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress. Most of them, though, had a condition unrelated to the heart or arteries.

The other tricky problem with heart attacks is that different people experience them in different ways. Some have classic chest pain. Others have jaw pain or back pain. Still others become breathless, or extremely fatigued, or nauseated.

You May Like: Naproxen Heart Rate

More articles

Popular Articles