Heart attacks can occur suddenly, and the sensations that accompany them are sometimes intense. However the majority of heart attacks start more slowly, causing just mild pain or chest discomfort. But, signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary from one victim to another. Knowing the most common indicators of a heart attack can help you save your own life, or the life of another person.
Although some of the following can be symptoms of other medical issues, they are potential signs of a heart attack. If you or another person is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, call 911 for emergency medical help:
Chest Pain or Discomfort — The majority of heart attacks cause pain or discomfort in the middle area of the chest. The discomfort is often a feeling of tightness, or squeezing in the chest, or pressure on the chest. During a heart attack, chest discomfort or pain usually lasts longer than a few minutes. However, the discomfort can stop and then start again.
Difficulty Breathing — Shortness of breath may be a heart attack symptom. Trouble breathing during a heart attack may or may not be accompanied by chest pain or discomfort.
Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body — Symptoms of heart attack can also include pain or discomfort both arms, just one arm, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Lightheadedness, Cold Sweat — A sensation of lightheadedness, or experiencing a cold sweat may be a symptom of heart attack.
Nausea — Nausea, either with or without vomiting, can be a symptom of a heart attack.
Women’s Heart Attack Symptoms Can Be Different Than Men’s
The most common symptom of a heart attack, for either men or women, is chest pain or discomfort. It is more common for women than for men to have other symptoms as well. These additional symptoms can include shortness of breath, pain in the back or jaw, and nausea, with or without vomiting. These should not be overlooked as possible early warning signs of a heart attack in women.
If You’re Not Sure It’s a Heart Attack — Call 911
Even if you are in doubt about whether or not you or someone around you is actually having a heart attack, if common symptoms of a heart attack are occurring, do not delay in getting emergency help. You should call 911 as quickly as possible.
The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals can check the symptoms, make assessments and start treatment. They can even undertake efforts to revive someone after the heart has stopped.
Crystal Run HealthCare, Middletown, NY
Our team of board certified cardiologists are dedicated to helping protect our patients from heart disease, through preventive care of heart health and early diagnosis. The state-of-the-art specialized equipment and procedures provided at Crystal Run HealthCare make our facility the region’s most advanced heart facility.
For More Information
See your primary care physician for regular examinations to protect your heart health. For more information about symptoms and risks of heart attack, or to see a Stony Point cardiologist, call Crystal Run HealthCare (845) 703-6999 or to schedule an appointment.