What Is A Silent Heart Attack
Its true that some people have what are sometimes referred to as silent heart attacks. These result from temporary blockages in the coronary arteries. Sometimes they dont even produce mild heart attack symptoms, but many times they do. Evidence of a silent heart attack may only appear much later when your doctor is examining your heart for other reasons.
Silent heart attacks usually cause the same symptoms as other heart attacks but they are milder and dont last as long. Because they may never result in a visit to the ER, they remain silent.
But you cant count on a heart attack to be temporary or to cause only minimal damage. So treat major or minor heart attack symptoms as an emergency. The faster you seek medical help for a heart attack, the less damage your heart will suffer. A disruption of blood flow to the heart is a problem, and there will be consequences.
If you have risk factors for a heart attack, including high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease, and you start to feel heart attack symptoms of any kind, call 911. Dont try to drive yourself to a hospital. Your symptoms may become overwhelming, placing yourself and other motorists at risk on the road.
Make sure your loved ones know the symptoms of a heart attack and what to do if you or someone in your home starts to experience one. Sometimes fast treatment is what makes the difference between a heart attack being mild or major.
What To Do During A Heart Attack
A heart attack is a medical emergency.
The faster you get to a hospital, the better your chances of surviving the heart attack and minimizing damage to your heart muscle.
Even if youre not sure your symptoms indicate a heart attack, you should seek emergency medical care. Never worry about a false alarm or causing anyone embarrassment.
Follow these steps if you or someone around you is having heart attack symptoms:
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.
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What Makes The Symptoms Of Heart Attack Unique
Often the health conditions heartburn and heart attack is misunderstood. Knowing the key differences between the chest pain from heart attack and chest pain from indigestion or acid reflux is extremely important.
The pain in chest from indigestion or reflux gets better as soon as you consume an antacid / by drinking water or milk whereas pain from heart attacks will not go away easily. In addition, symptoms such as nausea, sweatiness, breathlessness and heart palpitations usually dont accompany indigestion or reflux. Yet another key sign in heart attacks are repeated pain. It comes with activities like chest tightness while walking up stairs.
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 isn’t able to pump the way it should,” Bufalino says.
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Why Didnt I Have Any Warning
The process of atherosclerosis has no symptoms. When a coronary artery narrows and constricts blood flow, other nearby blood vessels that serve the heart sometimes expand to compensate, which may explain why there are no warning signs.
Such a network of expanded nearby blood vessels is called collateral circulation, and it helps protect some people from heart attacks by delivering needed blood to the heart. Collateral circulation can also develop after a heart attack to help the heart muscle recover.
Whatto Do If You Notice Symptoms
Women often say theynoticed;some of these three warning signs weeks or;a monthbefore;a heart attack.
The sooner;you report aproblem, the better the chances are of catching an issue before it becomes afull-blown heart attack. If you experience any of these symptoms, take note andvisit your doctor as quickly;as possible.
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Why Does My Heart Skip A Beat
There are several possible causes of heart palpitations.
Trouble from above.;Some palpitations stem from premature contractions of the heart’s upper chambers . When the atria contract a fraction of a second earlier than they should, they rest an instant longer afterward to get back to their usual rhythm. This feels like a skipped beat and is often followed by a noticeably forceful contraction as the lower chambers clear out the extra blood they accumulated during the pause. These premature beats are almost always benign, meaning they aren’t life-threatening or the sign of a heart attack in the making.
Two other heart rhythm disturbances that can cause palpitations from above are atrial fibrillation and supraventricular tachycardia. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heartbeat caused by chaotic electrical activity in the heart’s upper chambers. Supraventricular tachycardia is a faster-than-normal heart rate that begins above the heart’s lower chambers. Both of these may cause palpitations that may be brief or prolonged. Both should be evaluated by your physician.
Other sources.;Problems with the heart’s timekeeper, called the pacemaker or sinus node, can cause palpitations. So can a breakdown in the coordination between the upper and lower chambers. Scar tissue in the heart from a heart attack or other injury and valve problems such as mitral valve prolapse can also lead to palpitations.
So How Do You Know If Youre Having A Heart Attack What Does It Feel Like
- Pressure in the chest that feels like something heavy is pressing down on you. It could also feel like a big rope is being tightened around your chest.
- Chest pain or a squeezing sensation in the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes. It may go away and then come back.
- Pain in the left arm that seems to radiate down towards the chest. The pain can also be in both arms or move from right arm to left arm.
- Sudden intense clenching pain in the jaw, arm, neck, back or stomach.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat with unexplained nausea, indigestion, vomiting or dizziness.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack
The major symptoms of a heart attack are
- Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.
Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms.;Learn more about women and heart disease.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.
What A Heart Attack Feels Like For A Woman
The most common symptom of heart attack in women is chest pain or tightness. Women may also experience pain in the upper abdomen. Women are also more likely than men to experience nontraditional symptoms, such as:
- fatigue, which may appear for several days prior to other symptoms and create the impression you have the flu rather than a heart attack
- upper back pain that may feel like burning, tingling, or pressure
- neck and jaw pain often without any chest pain
- pain, tingling, or discomfort in either or both arms
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath, with or without chest pain that can come on suddenly
Because certain symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can signal any number of health concerns or illnesses, you should be particularly mindful of other possible heart attack symptoms.
If you suddenly become nauseated and youre having trouble catching your breath or youre feeling serious jaw pain, call 911. Tell the operator you may be having a heart attack.
Women are often reluctant to seek medical attention for heart attack symptoms. While women are slightly less likely than men to have heart attacks prior to menopause, the odds essentially are equal after menopause.
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Nausea Indigestion Heartburn Or Stomach Pain
Some people have these symptoms during a heart attack. They may even vomit, Chambers says.
Women are more likely to report this type of symptom than men are.
Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.
So if you feel this way and youâre at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out whatâs going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list.
New Technology Can Help Prevent Heart Attacks
What kind of treatment does someone who’s had a heart attack receive?;
50% of deaths occur within an hour of having a heart attack, usually before the patient has got to hospital.;
Early recognition and treatment are key; the part of the heart muscle that has been deprived of oxygen does not die immediately. If blood flow can be restored quickly, damage to the affected heart muscle can be minimized or prevented.;
- If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, dial 999.
- Remain seated and chew an aspirin tablet , if you have one.;
In hospital, patients undergo an emergency surgical procedure or are given clot-busting medicine. PCI involves feeding a balloon up to the affected coronary artery, usually via an artery in the groin. The balloon is blown up at the site of the narrowing to open up the artery and restore blood flow.
A stent may be introduced to keep the artery open. The type of treatment offered is dependent on how long it has been since symptom onset.
After a heart attack patients will be prescribed medicines that thin the blood and optimize heart function. These medicines reduce the risk of a second heart attack and need to be taken for the rest of that persons life.
What is the prognosis for someone who’s had a heart attack?
Approximately one in three people die after a heart attack. The danger time is the first few days and weeks; patients that survive to 4 weeks have an excellent prognosis.;
I Felt Like I Had A Large Pill Stuck In My Throat
“I actually had three heart attacks in three days. I experienced my first heart attack on April 10th, 2014, a second on April 11th, and a third on the 12th, just hours after being released from the hospital. The last one was so severe I was considered dead for a few minutes and its miracle the doctors were able to bring me back.
“Looking back, I realized Id been having heart symptoms, like numbness in my left arm and stiffness in my neck, since November of 2013. During my actual heart attacks, my chest felt as if something was stuck, like I swallowed a large pill and it wouldnt pass. I also experienced nausea, hot flashes, sweating, clamminess, and extreme fatigue. But if I had to sum it up, I would say my body felt like a lot of circuits misfiring at one time.
“After surgery to put a stent in, my cardiologist told me I needed to rethink my entire lifestyle, mentally and physically. I took his advice and today I’m happy to say that I exercise five days a week with a combination of yoga, cardio, and weight lifting. I admit that I have a slight advantage over most as my husband is a fitness coach; he helps me stay the course! We all need support and encouragement for this journey.”
Tara Robinson, 45, volunteer for the American Heart Associations Go Red For Women “Real Women“ campaign
And What About The Aspirin Trick
Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer says, Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 9-1-1. But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 9-1-1.
Do you know what a heart attack feels like? How would you describe it? Help other people recognize the warning signs by sharing your story in the comments section.
A Cough That Wont Quit
In most cases, this isn’t a sign of heart trouble. But if you have heart disease or know you’re at risk, pay special attention to the possibility.
If you have a long-lasting cough that produces a white or pink mucus, it could be a sign of heart failure. This happens when the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, causing blood to leak back into the lungs.
Ask your doctor to check on whatâs causing your cough.
Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Chest Head Jaw And Tooth Pain
Chest discomfort, manifest as pain, fullness, and/or squeezing sensation of the chest
Chest pain is the hallmark symptom of a heart attack, although it can take many different forms. In other cases, chest pain may not occur at all. The characteristic chest pain of a heart attack has been described as a sense of pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain that starts in the center of the chest. The pain or discomfort typically lasts more than a few minutes, or it may go away and then return. It can spread down the arms, to the back, or to the head and neck. Both women and men report chest pain as a primary symptom of heart attack, but women more often than men are likely to have some of the other symptoms, such as nausea, jaw pain, or shortness of breath, that are described below.
Jaw pain, toothache, headache
The pain of a heart attack can spread down both arms, to the jaw or head, or to the back. Some people report tooth pain or headache as a symptom of a heart attack. It is possible to have these types of pain without chest pain during a heart attack.
Shortness of breath
Feeling short of breath or like you are gasping for air is a common symptom of a heart attack. Shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, is medically known as dyspnea. Shortness of breath may occur before or during the chest pain of a heart attack, and in some cases, it may be associated with other heart attack symptoms without any chest pain.
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Your Legs Feet And Ankles Are Swollen
This could be a sign that your heart doesnât pump blood as effectively as it should.
When the heart can’t pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and causes bloating.
Heart failure can also make it harder for the kidneys to remove extra water and sodium from the body, which can lead to bloating.
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
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How To Get Checked Out
Men may not be aware they had an SMI until weeks or even months later when they see their doctor for a regular visit, or because of persistent symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, or heartburn.
SMI is usually detected from an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram, which can highlight heart muscle damage. Another method is a blood test for the molecular footprints of troponin T, a protein released by injured heart cells. That test is often used in emergency departments for patients with heart attack symptoms.
Once an SMI is diagnosed, your doctor can identify your main risk factors and help design a treatment strategy, including changing your diet, exercising regularly, and taking a statin as well as other medication to help prevent a second heart attack .
“If you do notice any symptoms of a SMI, do not brush them aside, even if you do not think they are serious,” says Dr. Plutzky. “Playing it safe is always a better move than risking the potential harmful downside.”