Is That a Heart Attack?
Time is critical when a person is suffering from a heart attack. This is due to the blood flow being restricted or cut off to one or more areas of the heart. A lack of blood flow means a lack of oxygen and the death of that tissue if the oxygen is not restored. If too much heart tissue dies, the heart will either be severely weakened, or even become so damaged that the person dies.
It would be useful if all heart attacks were as dramatic as the ones we see on TV. Then it would be clear what was going on and the person would call 911 and get help fast.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a heart attack are not always that obvious, especially in women. Let’s look at the typical symptoms for men and women so you can protect your heart health.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Men
Discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, pain, or feeling full, like you would after a big meal.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
Symptoms can include pain or discomfort radiating outwards into one or both shoulders and arms, or into the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Other less common signs may include:
* breaking out in a cold sweat
* lightheadedness/feeling faint.
Heart Attack Signs in Women
In the first stage of a heart attack, a woman may not have obvious chest pain. However she may note instead:
- shortness of breath
- breaking out in a cold sweat
- lightheadedness/feeling faint
- jaw pain
As the heart attack progresses, she will start to experience the heart attack symptoms that are typical in men, such as:
- Chest discomfort
- Upper body discomfort
If you have any of these signs, call emergency services immediately and attempt to stay calm until they arrive. Do not try to drive yourself to a hospital!
It is not pleasant to think about having a heart attack, or a loved one having one. But knowing what signs and symptoms to look out for in both men and women will definitely save lives.
It also leads to less damage and better outcomes so they should be able to enjoy a full life for many years to come if they follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.