There is nothing more terrifying than a certain moment of realization people can feel. That moment is the realization that someone is having a heart attack. The terror felt by many of these people is something that is all too common. Heart disease leading to heart attacks is one of the most common major afflictions in the country.
Arguably the most important thing when a heart attack strikes is to recognize it and call for emergency help. A person who recognizes they are having a heart attack and seeks emergency medical attention is far more likely to survive a heart attack. But they must know the signs of what is occurring if they are to have the opportunity to act fast and help themselves.
What Causes Heart Attacks?
Heart attacks are serious incidents. A heart attack occurs when there is a blockage in the artery carrying blood to the heart. This lack of blood causes the heart to seize up and cause a heart attack.
Arteries become blocked because of cholesterol buildup. Despite what people think, there very much is “good” and “bad” cholesterol. It’s the bad cholesterol that is an issue. There’s many things that can lead to the building up of cholesterol in the body.
A terrible diet lacking in fruits and vegetables is one common risk factor. People who are obese and have a sedentary lifestyle lacking exercise also find themselves at high risk of heart attack. Typically, those often go hand in hand. Other people find themselves at risk through high blood pressure, undergoing heavy stress or by smoking.
These can cause heart attacks, or various forms of heart disease like coronary heart disease. This also works to block arteries through plaque. It occurs over many years until a heart attack is inevitable.
Is Heart Failure the Same as a Heart Attack?
Heart attacks are closely linked and similar to heart failure. When it comes to congestive heart failure, the heart simply stops pumping blood as well as it is supposed to over the long run. There’s a lot of different reasons that this can happen.
Heart failure usually comes from coronary heart disease which reduces the amount of both blood and oxygen which reaches the heart. There are a lot of heart issues and they are all intertwined and interconnected. It’s one of the reasons that heart health is so important.
Signs of a Heart Attack in Men
When it comes to heart attack signs in men, things are typically more straightforward than they are with women. The vast majority of men suffer from the main symptom of a heart attack and don’t need to feel the remainder of them.
The main symptom of a heart attack is moderate to severe pressure and discomfort in the chest area of a person. Sometimes this will textend down a person’s left arm as well. Many people have stated it’s very hard to describe the feeling of a heart attack, but that people know it when it happens. In addition, it will last for a few minutes. If it’s a short stabbing pain, then it’s likely another issue instead of a heart attack.
Signs of a Heart Attack in Women
When it comes to women, heart attack symptoms can be much different. While chest pain is still the number one sign, many women may have a heart attack without that. They are far more likely to also experience many of the additional signs and symptoms. These include:
- Nausea and Indigestion - This can also include stomach pain and heartburn. In severe cases, some people may vomit during a heart attack as well.
- Spreading Arm Pain - This was mentioned above for men, but is pretty classic down the left side of the body. The pain extends from the chest, and then down the left arm.
- Lightheadedness - Some people may also feel very dizzy, and some people will faint. It’s often a sign of blood pressure dropping very quickly due to the heart attack.
- Throat Pain - This needs to begin with pain in the chest that extends to the throat and jaw. It may be more severe in the throat and jaw than in the chest to the person experiencing it.
- Cold Sweats - Breaking out sweating is a sign that something is wrong with the body. This symptom on its own doesn’t indicate a heart attack, but when combined with other symptoms, it’s a sign.
It’s important to know that some of these symptoms may not be as severe as the thorough chest pain of a heart attack. Women typically have a higher pain tolerance than men and some women may choose to ignore them or consider them as symptoms of something else. This can be very dangerous. Never ignore the signs of a heart attack. Contact emergency services immediately if there’s any question!