How To Prevent Heart Attacks
Ask your doctor whether you are at risk for a heart attack and what you can do to reduce your risk factors, says;Beniaminovitz. Be sure to ask about aspirin and nitroglycerin. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle is important. This includes making dietary changes,;quitting smoking, exercising regularly and keeping up with doctors appointments.
If you suspect youre having a heart attack, better safe than sorry. Knowing the possible symptoms can help make the difference between life and death.
Living With A Heart Attack
After youve had a heart attack, you are at higher risk of having another one. Your doctor will likely recommend heart-healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk. They include:
- Maintaining a heart-healthy diet.
- Being physically active.
- Quitting smoking.
Symptoms during a second heart attack may be different than the first one. If you have any new symptoms of heart attack or are in any doubt, call 911. Early treatment is the key to surviving a heart attack.
Control Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
To reduce your risk of a heart attack, you will need to control your cholesterol and manage your blood pressure. Quitting smoking, changing the way you eat, and getting more exercise can help. But if these things don’t work, you may also need to take medicines.
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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.
Know The Warning Signs Off By Heart
The symptoms of heart attacks vary widely. They differ between individuals, but also between men and women.
A heart attack can come on suddenly and be intense. Or it can start slowly and be mild. Some patients dont experience any pain. Some people mistake a heart attack for indigestion or angina.
Those experiencing severe chest pain are more likely to call 999. Those experiencing less serious symptoms, dont always seek immediate medical attention. However, responding rapidly when you suspect a heart attack can greatly improve your chances for survival and avoiding serious heart damage.
If you are uneasy about any symptoms, if you have symptoms bought on by exercise or exertion, or if you are woken up by symptoms or they come on at rest you should always quickly seek medical help.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
If you have any of the symptoms below, you could be having a heart attack. If symptoms are severe, get worse quickly, or last longer than 10 minutes, call triple zero immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile try calling 112.
The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- chest pain pressure or tightness in the chest and arms that may spread to the jaw, neck or back
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Women may experience different symptoms, such as:
- breathlessness and generally feeling unwell
- tightness or discomfort in the arms
- back pain or pressure
Heart attack symptoms differ from person to person. Some people experience no warning signs before a heart attack while others feel symptoms days or weeks in advance. Nearly 1 in 3 men and nearly 4 in 10 women who have heart attacks dont feel any chest pain at all. Chest pains may also come and go.
Whats The Difference Between A Heart Attack And A Cardiac Arrest
A;heart attack;is a sudden interruption to the blood supply to part of the heart muscle. Its likely to cause chest pain and permanent damage to the heart. The heart is still sending blood around the body, and the person remains conscious and is still breathing.
A;cardiac arrest;happens when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body. Someone whos having a cardiac arrest will suddenly lose consciousness and will stop breathing – or stop breathing normally. Unless immediately treated by cardiopulmonary resuscitation , this always leads to death within minutes.
A person having a heart attack is at high risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest.
Both a heart attack and a cardiac arrest are life-threatening medical emergencies and require immediate medical help.
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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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Signs Of Heart Attack That You Shouldnt Ignore
About every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack in the US. Most people imagine that having a heart attack is always intense. But the truth is that sometimes you may be unsure if your are suffering from a heart attack because the signs can be subtle and different from what you may typically think of.
This makes heart attacks very dangerous. In fact, 1 in 5 heart attacks goes unnoticed, meaning the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood supply but the person is not aware of that this has occurred.
So what are the signs of a heart attack both subtle and not-so-subtle? Here are 4 signs of heart attack to be on the lookout for:
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Breaking Out In A Cold Sweat
Another common symptom is finding yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. The reason behind this symptom is that when you have clogged arteries, your heart requires more effort to pump blood, and sweating keeps your bodys temperature down during this extra effort.
For women, this means night sweats may not just be the result of menopause. They might also be a sign of heart problems.
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to consult your physician. Dont wait until it becomes urgent.
Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Symptoms of;a heart attack;can include:
- chest pain;;the chest can feel like it’s being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
- feeling weak or lightheaded, or both
- an overwhelming feeling of anxiety
It’s important to know that not everyone experiences severe chest pain. This is particularly the case with many women. The pain can often be mild and mistaken for indigestion.
It’s the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack and not the severity of chest pain.
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What To Think About
You may have regular blood tests to monitor how the medicine is working in your body. Your doctor will likely let you know when you need to have the tests.
If your doctor recommends daily aspirin, don’t substitute non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen , for the aspirin. NSAIDS relieve pain and inflammation much like aspirin does, but they do not affect blood clotting in the same way that aspirin does. NSAIDs do not lower your risk of another heart attack. In fact, NSAIDs may raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
If you need to take an NSAID for a long time, such as for pain, talk with your doctor to see if it is safe for you. For more information about daily aspirin and NSAIDs, see Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke.
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. ; ;
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Tips For Heart Attack Prevention
The goal after your heart attack is to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of having another heart attack. Take your medications as directed, make healthy lifestyle changes, see your doctor for regular heart checkups, and consider a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Why do I need to take drugs after a heart attack?
You might take certain drugs after a heart attack to:
- Prevent blood clots
How Will I Know If Someone Is Having A Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the heart cant get enough oxygen. A lack of oxygen causes the heart muscle to die. The most common symptom is . But this is only half the story. Sometimes people can have other symptoms withor withoutchest pain including:
Any type of or pressure, such as squeezing or achiness
Feeling queasy or throwing up
Looking white as a ghost
or feeling unusually tired
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Ake In Physical Activity
Being physically active will also help to prevent a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, adults should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week when possible.
Adults who are already active can increase their activity levels to give themselves even better prevention against heart attacks.
Emergency Testing For A Heart Attack
After you call 911 for a heart attack, paramedics will quickly assess your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. They also will place electrodes on your chest for an electrocardiogram to check your heart’s electrical activity.
When you arrive at the hospital, the emergency room doctor will take your history and do a physical examination, and a more complete ECG will be done. A technician will draw blood to test for cardiac enzymes, which are released into the bloodstream when heart cells die.
If your tests show that you are at risk of having or are having a heart attack, your doctor will probably recommend that you have cardiac catheterization. The doctor can then see whether your coronary arteries are blocked and how your heart functions.
If an artery appears blocked, angioplastyâa procedure to open up clogged arteriesâmay be done during the catheterization. Or you will be referred to a cardiovascular surgeon for coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Some treatments and tests, such as cardiac catheterization, may be available only at regional medical centres. The tests and treatment your doctor chooses may depend on how close you are to a regional centre and the time it would take to transport you to the centre for treatment.
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How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If youre experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, call Triple Zero and ask for an ambulance. An ambulance is the safest way to go to hospital and the quickest way to seek treatment. Treatment can start when ambulance staff arrive, saving precious minutes and preventing damage to your heart muscle.;Once you get to hospital, your doctor will perform tests to diagnose if youre having a heart attack.;;These tests will also measure;the;amount;of;damage;caused to your heart;and the best treatment course to take.These tests include:;
What To Do During A Heart Attack
If you think someone is having a heart attack, do not wait until more symptoms appear. A heart attack is a medical emergency, and can be deadly. The sooner a person gets treatment, the better chance they have at survival and recovery.
- Dont ignore or try to tough out the symptoms of a heart attack. Paramedics are trained to treat people on the way to the hospital and offer the fastest way to get there.
- Chew and swallow aspirin. If able, have the person chew and swallow aspirin while waiting for the paramedics, unless they are allergic or have another medical condition that makes taking aspirin dangerous. Most doctors recommend one 325 mg aspirin tablet for maximum effect. Aspirin can help lower the hearts workload and make blood flow better. If you are prescribed nitroglycerin, take one and chew and swallow it.
- Have the person sit down, rest, and keep calm. Less strain on the heart will allow them to recover faster.
- Begin CPR. If the person is unconscious or unresponsive, you may be told by the 9-1-1 dispatcher to begin CPR. If you do not know how to give CPR, the dispatcher should be able to give you the correct steps to follow until help arrives.
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Heart Attack Symptoms: Women Vs Men
Women may experience classic symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath as many men do, but they also tend to experience stomach pain, back pain, and other non-classic symptoms.
Because of the subtlety in those symptoms, many women brush off these warning signs and already have heart damage by the time they get to the Emergency Department.
And many women put their families before their own health. But you cant take care of your loved ones if your own health is not where it needs to be.
How Much What Type And How To Take It
The current recommendation for people who may be having a heart attack is to;chew and swallow one non-coated adult aspirin as soon as possible. Chewing or crushing the aspirin gets it into your bloodstream more quicklywithin four to five minutesand researchers have measured a significant effect on platelets within that short period of time.
Swallowing a whole aspirin with water, as you normally would, takes 10 to 12 minutes to achieve the same effect. This time difference may seem small, but, once again, minutes count when your heart is at risk.
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Know Your Heart Care Options
You cant predict if a heart attack will happen. But knowing where you can get the right heart care is one thing you can do. Our nationally recognized cardiac centers include:
- Regions Hospital Heart Center in St. Paul, MN, is consistently recognized as one of the nations top cardiac centers. Youll get the highest level of care in every situation, starting with emergency treatment all the way through the recovery process.
- Park Nicollet Heart and Vascular Center, located in St. Louis Park, MN, is nationally recognized for offering outstanding, responsive care for heart attacks and other cardiac conditions. This center is accredited as a Mission: Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Center by the American Heart Association, so you can expect first-rate treatment, especially in time-sensitive situations.
- Cardiac rehabilitation services are offered across the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin. Recovering from a heart attack takes time, but you dont have to go through it alone. We offer personalized cardiac rehabilitation at seven convenient locations, so its easy to get the support you and your heart need.
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.;;
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