Sit Down And Stay Calm
Try to relax and remain calm while you wait for help to arrive.
If youre at home alone, open the front door and sit on the floor near the entrance.
This will help the paramedics easily find you in case you lose consciousness before the ambulance arrives, and give them a flat surface on which to begin CPR if necessary.
Chew One Aspirin If Recommended
After you call 911, the operator may tell you to take an aspirin.
Aspirin may help to slow or reduce clotting and blockage around the site of a ruptured plaque deposit in your artery. This can limit damage to your heart and help save your life.
But aspirin won’t cure a heart attack or make your symptoms go away, so never delay calling 911 to take an aspirin.
You may be told not to take aspirin if you take a medication that can interact with it.
Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Men
Youre more likely to experience a heart attack if youre a man. Men also have heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. If you have a family history of heart disease or a history of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, or other risk factors, your chances of having a heart attack are even higher.
Fortunately, a lot of research has been done on how mens hearts react during heart attacks.
Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:
- standard chest pain/pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest, with a squeezing sensation that may come and go or remain constant and intense
- upper body pain or discomfort, including arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- rapid or irregular heartbeat
- stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion
- shortness of breath, which may leave you feeling like you cant get enough air, even when youre resting
- dizziness or feeling like youre going to pass out
- breaking out in a cold sweat
Its important to remember, however, that each heart attack is different. Your symptoms may not fit this cookie-cutter description. Trust your instincts if you think something is wrong.
In recent decades, scientists have realized that heart attack symptoms can be quite different for women than for men.
Symptoms of heart attack in women include:
In a 2012 survey published in the journal Circulation, only 65 percent of women said theyd call 911 if they thought they might be having a heart attack.
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When To See The Doctor For Chest Pain
When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
- A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
- Sudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
- Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
- Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
- Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucus
- Problems swallowing
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
Silent heart attacks are more common in women than in men.
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Will I Recover From My Heart Attack
The answer is most likely yes.
The heart muscle begins to heal soon after a heart attack. It usually takes about eight weeks to heal.
Scar tissue may form in the damaged area, and that scar tissue does not contract or pump as well as healthy muscle tissue. As a consequence, the extent of damage to the heart muscle can impact how well the heart pumps blood throughout the body.
How much pumping function is lost depends on the size and location of the scar tissue. Most heart attack survivors have some degree of coronary artery disease; and will have to make important lifestyle changes and possibly take medication to prevent a future heart attack. Taking these steps can help you lead a full, productive life.
Learn more about recovering from heart attack.
Chest Pain: Is It Anxiety A Heart Attack Or Covid
Panic disorder whether youve lived with it for years or have developed it due to the pandemic can cause chest pain, but cardiac and other physiological issues need to be ruled out before treatment can begin. And remember,;any;kind of chest pain requires medical attention.
Chest pain or tightness could be a symptom of the increased anxiety that is now prevalent in every facet of life as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop. Then again, it might not.
Chest pain also can be the result of a cardiac issue or due to a non-cardiac cause, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD1, a muscle or skeletal problem in the chest,2 or even a symptom of COVID-19.3
When associated with a panic attack, chest pain is a common symptom, but how do we know whats causing chest pain when we feel it?;The only way to know for sure is ;by seeking medical attention.
Heightened levels of anxiety can cause chest pain to develop.
Can You Have Symptoms Of A Heart Attack For Days
Not all individuals who have heart attacks have similar manifestations or have a similar seriousness of side effects. A few people may have mellow torment; others have more extreme pain. A few people have no signs at all, while for others, the main sign might lead to cardiac arrest. In any case, the more signs and indications you have, the more probability you have of suffering a heart attack.
Many nerves all through the heart and the gastrointestinal track send a similar signal to the mind, chest pain. In the case of the heart and stomach, you cannot tell promptly where the issue is. Wounds to the heart, pancreas, lungs, throat, or stomach may all lead to comparable pain that appears to start from the chest.
So, presently the question is if you are showing symptoms of heart attack, to what extent does the chest pain last? Would it be able to go on throughout the month or a day or for few minutes?
Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
Chest pain associated with COPD: tightness in the chest, often worse with exertion
COPD refers to a few different conditions in which your airways become inflamed, restricting the flow of air in and out of your lungs. The two main examples are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Symptoms of COPD include:
- chest tightness
Physical activity makes most COPD symptoms worse.
Seek immediate medical help if you have chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
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Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Heart disease often develops over time. You may have early signs or symptoms long before you have serious heart problems. Or, you may not realize you are developing heart disease. The warning signs of heart disease may not be obvious. Also, not every person has the same symptoms.
Certain symptoms, such as chest pain, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath may be signals that something is wrong. Learning the warning signs can help you get treatment and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
What A Heart Attack Feels Like For A Man
The classic symptom of chest pain may not be present in every heart attack, but it remains the most common sign among men. The pain is often described as a pressure or squeezing sensation. Chest pain tends to be located in the center of the chest, but it can be felt from armpit to armpit.
Other common heart attack symptoms for men include:
- shortness of breath, which sometimes develops before any other symptoms, and may be present when sitting still or moving around
- back pain, often moving up to the neck
- arm pain, typically in the left arm, but can be in either or both arms
- jaw pain that sometimes feels like a bad toothache
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Differences Between Symptoms Of Heartburn And Heart Attack
It can sometimes be difficult to know if symptoms are due to a heart attack or heartburn. Doctors often find making a diagnosis based on symptoms alone difficult and rely on tests.
Sometimes even doctors can find their symptoms difficult to understand. A doctor at Harvard, for example, has told his story of heart disease.
He had a burning symptom in his upper belly whenever he exercised, but treatments for heartburn did not help.
It was not until he became breathless and unable to carry on that he sought medical help. Tests revealed heart disease that was close to causing a heart attack.
The main difference between symptoms is that:
- Heartburn tends to be worse after eating and when lying down, but a heart attack can happen after a meal, too.
- Heartburn can be relieved by drugs that reduce acid levels in the stomach.
- Heartburn does not cause more general symptoms, such as breathlessness.
- Heart attack does not cause bloating or belching, but these can happen with heartburn.
following symptoms should call 911 at once:
- Chest pain or discomfort, such as pressure, squeezing, pain, or fullness that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back again
- Pain or discomfort in other parts of the body, for example, one or both arms, back, jaw, neck, or stomach
- Shortness of breath, before or with chest discomfort
- Cold sweat
- Other signs: Feeling unusually tired
All these symptoms can affect both men and women, but:
Cervical Or Thoracic Spine Conditions
Conditions such as disc disease or compressed vertebrae may cause pain that is felt on the right side of the chest, either due to the location of a condition or due to referred pain from involved nerves. Sometimes metastases to the spine from breast cancer, lung cancer, and other tumors are first noted as chest pain on the right side.
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Look Beyond Chest Pain Symptoms
When you have a heart attack, its because one of the coronary arteries that provide blood to the heart is;blocked. The blockage obstructs the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
When you think of a heart attack, you may picture a person;clutching their;chest and collapsing from sudden, severe pain.;But the symptoms of a heart attack;often are much more subtle. This is especially true for women, Dr. Abdallah says.
Instead, they often suffer from subtle symptoms such as:
- Pain in the arms, neck or jaw.
- Sweating or cold sweat.
- Feelings of fullness, indigestion or choking .
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.
People;with diabetes who are having a heart attack often have atypical or minimal symptoms, Dr. Abdallah says. If you have diabetes, you should seek medical attention for even slight chest or stomach pain or;discomfort.
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.
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The Pain May Not Be Coming From Your Heart Or Even Your Chest
While chest pain is one of the hallmarks of heart problems, it’s important to note that any organ or tissue in your chest including the lungs, esophagus, muscles, tendons, ribs and nerves can be a source of chest pain.
“Pain can also radiate to the chest from the neck, abdomen and back, creating the illusion that it’s originating with your heart,” Schaer says. In fact, in roughly 25 percent of people in the U.S. who experience chest pain, the cause is related to parts of the body other;than the heart, including the following:
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Conditions of the lungs or a collapsed lung
Signs Of A Medical Emergency
A heart attack doesnt always include chest pain. You may be having a heart attack if you have sudden chest pain along with any of the following symptoms:
Angina is sometimes confused with a heart attack. Unlike a heart attack, angina doesnt cause permanent damage to heart tissue.
There are two main types of angina: stable and unstable. Stable angina is predictable. It comes on when youre physically active and the heart is pumping harder than usual. It tends to disappear when you rest.
Unstable angina can appear at any time, even when youre sitting down and relaxed. Unstable angina is a more serious concern because it strongly indicates youre at a greater risk of a heart attack.
If you arent sure whether youre experiencing angina or a heart attack, err on the side of caution and call your local emergency services. If you experience either type of angina, you should make an appointment to see your doctor soon.
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When Anxiety Attacks The Body: Physical Symptoms
In some cases, heightened levels of anxiety can cause chest pain to develop. Anxiety is the bodys reaction to a perceived threat, explains Richa Bhatia, MD, FAPA, of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
When people are anxious, their blood supply to different parts of the body can be decreased because the body is in a fight-or-flight response and more blood is directed to the muscles, she says. Dr. Bhatia adds that people in a state of heightened anxiety often hyperventilate and breathe in a shallow manner, which can cause dizziness or chest tightness.;
What a Panic Attack Feels Like
Experiencing;chest pain because of anxiety can be one of the symptoms of a panic attack, which is defined as a feeling of sudden, intense fear and the severe onset of four or more of these symptoms:4
- chest pain
- numbness and tingling
- fear of going crazy or of losing control.
A panic attack can happen when a person is feeling anxious, or it can occur out of the blue. The symptoms described above tend to last for roughly 10 minutes before fading. It is possible to have several panic attacks within a number of hours, which can feel like the attacks are coming in waves. Some people experience panic attacks daily or weekly. A milder variation of panic attacks, known as limited-symptom attacks, feature three or fewer of the symptoms listed above.5
Left Arm Pain Doesnt Always Mean Youre Having A Heart Attack Heres What To Watch For
Left arm pain and how the pain moves can be one of the key differences between mens and womens heart attacks.In men, the left arm pain will move from the shoulder down the left arm or up to the chin. If the pain comes on suddenly and is unusually severe, or is accompanied by pressure or squeezing in the chest, seek emergency treatment immediately.
In women, the pain can be subtler. It can radiate to the right or left arm. It can involve the chin, shoulder blades and upper back. The pain can reach into the abdomen and feel like nausea, indigestion and anxiety. Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Like in men, chest pain or discomfort is a common heart attack symptom in women. The pressure or squeezing can last for more than a few minutes or be intermittent in women. Seek emergency medical treatment immediately if you have heart attack symptoms.
Not all left arm pain, achiness or difficulty moving is a sign of a heart attack. Sometimes the cause is an injury, compressed nerves or other issues that dont involve your heart.
Be mindful of the other symptoms, and if they last for more than a couple minutes, get emergency help.
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Heart Attack And Sudden Cardiac Arrest Differences
People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack;is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest;is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a circulation problem and;sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem.
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.
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