Symptoms of Heart Attack
Would you know whether or not you were having a heart attack? Are you capable of recognizing the signs and symptoms if a friend or family member were to complain of chest pain? Heart attacks kill over one million people each year in the United States. Heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarction, cause permanent damage to the muscle in your heart. There are multiple symptoms of heart attack that occur but, first, you must understand what occurs during a heart attack.
The heart muscle needs an unceasing flow of oxygen-rich blood to keep it healthy. The coronary arteries give the heart this blood, as it is essential for the organ. When one has a coronary artery disease, the arteries become smaller which makes it harder for blood to flow through. Along with the blood flow, multiple things such as proteins, calcium, fatty matter, and inflammatory cells establish itself within the arteries which create plaques with a variety of sizes. When the plague is hardened, it cracks and combines with platelets and then forms blood clots around the plague. With enough time, the blood clot blockades the blood flow, which stops the oxygen-rich blood from coming to the heart. Without this oxygen, the heart starts to beat faster. In short time, heart muscles cells die, leaving the muscle permanently damaged. What occurs next is a heart attack.
One of the first symptoms of heart attack that occur is chest discomfort. It is the most common and can last for more than a few minutes or come and go. It can feel like a kind of squeezing, fullness, uncomfortable pressure, or pain. Things that may accompany chest discomfort is also shortness of breath, nausea, cold sweats, or having a light head.
Other symptoms of heart attack also include discomfort in other parts of the body like the back, neck, stomach, arms, and jaw. This discomfort, just as the chest pains, may last a few minutes or come and go at random times.
The last few symptoms of heart attack that occur are vomiting, sweating, dizziness, or nausea. The more serious symptom that may, of course, occur are rapid or irregular heartbeats. The heart may be slow for the whole day until it shoots up above one-hundred beats per minute in a matter of seconds.
For some individuals, it is possible that one may have a heart attack with no symptoms. This is, sometimes, called a “silent” myocardial infarction. The silent heart attack can occur in anyone but shows more in those that are also diabetics.
When the heart attack is through, it is important that the patient calls for emergency treatment to open the the artery. The artery is blocked so opening it will decrease the amount of damage that is done. There is a time frame of one to two hours from the first symptoms that occur which is the best time to receive treatment. Any more time after that will increase damage to the heart and minimize the chance of survival.