You might have heard of people saying or discussing heart attack? A heart attack or myocardial infarction is referred to as permanent damage to the muscles of the heart. What exactly is a heart attack?
Heart attack is one of the cardiovascular diseases affecting more than a million Americans every year. It commonly happens when the oxygen- rich blood flow to one of the section of the heart muscle gets blocked, and the heart is unable to get oxygen. When the blood flow does not get restored rapidly then the section of heart muscles begins to die.Heart attack becomes one of the leading killers of both male and female in the country of the United States.
We often see in movies how a man gasps and holds his chest in pain. Well, this could be a sign of heart attack that is often misinterpreted as heartburn or indigestion. Heart attack symptoms If any of the heart attack symptoms as mentioned below occurs for more than five minutes, then this would require an immediate medical attention.
These symptoms can be warning signs of heart attack:
• Pain in the chest or discomfort in the center of the chest
• Heaviness, aching, numbness, fullness and feeling of squeezing in the chest lasting for quite a few minutes that goes away and get back again
• Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
• Pain in the areas of upper body like arms, back, neck, jaw, shoulder and stomach • Sweating or cold sweat
• Vomiting or nausea
• Fullness and indigestion or choking feeling
• Rapid and irregular heartbeats
• Feeling dizzy, weak, light-headedness and anxiety As per the experts, the signs of heart attack in women 1 are different from men. In a multi-center study of 515 women as published in the Journal Circulation, the most common symptoms of heart attack did not have chest pain. Instead, it’s recorded, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and unusual fatigue. Also, 80% of women faced at least one symptom for as long as a month before getting a heart attack.
Also Read: What Are your Odds Of A Heart Attack?
Other common signs in women are:
• Shortness of breath
• Jaw pain
• Pain in the chest, spreading to arms
• Upper back and shoulder pain
• Indigestion and gas like pain Is Heart Attack and Heart Failure same? Both heart failure and heart attack are cardiovascular diseases. They are considered as the most common cause of deaths in the United States, each year about 4,50,000 deaths occur due to them. Both heart attack and heart failure are different medically. Congestive heart failure is a disease in which heart’s potential to pump blood forward lacks. Heart failure can be a result of a heart attack, chronic-uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart valve disease. Nowadays, modern medicines offer multiple medications, pacemakers, defibrillators and other assist devices that stabilize congestive heart failure.
The common symptoms of congestive heart failure at first include:
• Weight gain
• Excessive urination problem
• Swelling in the feet, legs or ankles Symptoms when the condition worsens • Wheezing
• Irregular heartbeat
• Cough developing from congested lungs Symptoms when requires immediate medical assistance
• Rapid breathing
• Chest pain
• Skin appearing blue How to treat heart attack? There are certain treatments for heart attack that starts immediately the moment you get into the hospital. These are:
• Oxygen therapy
• Aspirin to prevent blood clotting
• Treatment for chest pain
• Nitroglycerin to reduce the heart’s workload and to improve the flow of blood through coronary arteries Medicines that are given:
• Beta-blockers decrease the heart’s workload. It is also used for relieving chest pain and for preventing repeat heart attacks.
• ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitors tend to lower the blood pressure and reduce strain on the heart.
• Anticoagulants are given to prevent blood clot formation in the arteries. These medications also prevent clots from getting larger.
• Anti-clotting medicines prevent platelets from clumping together and prevent blood clots. If required, the doctor can also perform a bypass surgery to restore the heart muscles supply of the blood.
Having a heart attack once does not mean that you won’t get it again. So the primary concern of every individual should be to keep the heart healthy. What you may do is take medications correctly on time, bring a change in the lifestyle and visit your doctor regular for heart checkups.