Diseases and health conditions associated with the heart continue to be a leading cause of fatalities worldwide, regardless of gender and genetic orientation. Cardiovascular diseases account for nearly 18 million deaths each year. Most of us have probably experienced mild to moderate chest discomfort and palpitations at some point in our lives. However, not all chest pains indicate a potential heart attack.
Heart attacks are typically accompanied by a slew of symptoms, some of which are often misdiagnosed as signs of other diseases, such as indigestion or muscle stiffness. People suffering from heart diseases can survive if they’re treated immediately and handled appropriately. The early symptoms can show up weeks or even months before the onset of the attack, and timely diagnosis can increase the chance of survival.
For this reason, everyone should be aware of the warning signs of a possible heart attack and the symptoms that may signal an underlying heart condition contributing to a heart attack. Scroll down to learn how to prevent a heart attack and 8 warning signs of a potential heart attack.
Emergency Care for a Heart Attack:
Heart attack symptoms can be sudden or gradual. Urgent treatment and medical techniques within 15 minutes of the onset of a heart attack can increase the chances of survival by 33%. The following emergency care techniques can increase blood flow and oxygen levels or regulate a heart’s rhythm in the event of a heart attack:
- Use an AED device to examine and restore heart rhythm. These devices use an electric shock to regulate heart rhythm. You need to aware of the state legislation for the safe use of AED. You can visit https://avive.life/aed-laws/ to learn more about AED (automated external defibrillator) state laws.
- Swallow or chew aspirin or other blood thinning and anti-blood clotting drugs
- If the person is not breathing or is unconscious, begin CPR
- Call 911
- Take ACE inhibitors – drugs that regulate blood pressure
- Use Beta Bockers to regulate heart rhythm, decrease blood pressure and limit heart muscle damage
- Use Statins to lower blood cholesterol levels
- If prescribed, take Nitroglycerin
Warning Signs Before a Heart Attack:
Here are 8 of the most evident warning signs the body gives before a heart attack:
1. Chest Tightness or Upper Body Pain:
Chest tightness, discomfort in the middle of the chest, bothersome pressure, a squeezing sensation, a sense of fullness in the chest, or upper body pain are all indications of a possible active heart attack. Chest tightness or pain may occur in waves that last more than a few minutes.
However, tightness and pain can also occur in other places, such as the shoulders, arms, jaw, neck, or back. Some persons may report stiffness or pain that moves in waves from the chest to the shoulders, arms, and jawline. When an artery is blocked gradually, or the plaque ruptures suddenly to block an artery, the nerves in your heart send a signal to the brain, and you’ll feel pain in your body, chest, shoulders, or areas surrounding it.
2. Chest Pain While Walking or Carrying Heavy Items:
Many people with a silent heart attack experience minor symptoms that imitate muscle weakness or chest pain while walking or carrying heavy items. However, these are typical symptoms of angina pain people experience days before an active heart attack. This pain may be accompanied by fluctuating blood pressure and palpitations, which indicate a progressing arterial blockage.
Sweating excessively in the absence of physical activity or breaking out in cold sweat is a vital sign of an active heart attack, especially if it is accompanied by chest tightness or irregular blood pressure. When your arteries are blocked, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through them. To maintain body temperature during abnormal heart activity, your body experiences excessive perspiration.
However, cold sweats alone do not always indicate an active heart attack.
Menopause, panic attacks, anxiety, hypoxia, and hypoglycemia are some physical and mental health conditions that trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, resulting in cold sweats.
4. Nausea or Indigestion:
People who experience a heart attack often complain of mild to severe indigestion, nausea, heartburn, and other gastrointestinal issues. These problems may begin suddenly or a few days before other symptoms appear. However, nausea or indigestion alone doesn’t always indicate a heart attack.
Shortness of breath, limited oxygen flow to the body, and pressure on the lungs often cause vomiting in patients suffering from a heart attack. This is because the lungs start to fill up with fluids during a heart attack. The shortness of breath triggers vomiting in an attempt to clear up the lungs.
Apart from that, the vagus nerve that sends signals to the brain during a heart attack is directly connected to the gut. When the heart muscle starts to die due to lack of oxygen, the vagus muscle irritates the gut and causes vomiting.
6. Shortness of Breath:
During a cardiovascular disease, you may feel short of breath when your heart struggles to pump enough blood to your tissues or fails to obtain oxygen from your lungs. Shortness of breath is among the early symptoms of a heart attack. However, fatigue and shortness of breath are also associated with numerous other diseases, particularly in women.
7. Heart Palpitations:
The lack of nutrient-rich blood can upset the heart, resulting in palpitations. While palpitations are a common symptom of several psychological issues, excessive drinking, and sleep disorders, they can also signify atrial fibrillation or even a heart attack. If you suspect you are having heart palpitations, see a cardiologist immediately.
Lightheadedness can occur due to various factors, including ear infections, frequent migraine, dehydration, weakness, low-calorie intake, and standing up too rapidly. However, they may signal a progressing arterial blockage and heart attack if combined with other vital symptoms. If you experience chest discomfort along with dizziness, consult a cardiologist immediately.
People can survive cardiovascular disease if they identify the warning signs and receive prompt treatment. However, the symptoms of a heart attack differ from person to person. After the age of 40, doctors prescribe regular checkups and screening to monitor symptoms.
Doctors frequently require a thorough picture of your blood to eliminate the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and arterial blockage. If you encounter any of the symptoms listed above, you should immediately contact your doctor or call 911 if your condition aggravates unexpectedly.