A heart attack occurs when anything prevents blood from flowing to your heart, preventing it from receiving the oxygen it requires.
Every year, more than a million people in the United States suffer from heart attacks. Myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) are another term for this condition (MI). “Myo” refers to muscle, “cardial” refers to the heart, and “infarction” refers to tissue death as a result of a lack of oxygen due to a lack of blood flow. This tissue death has the potential to create a long-term harm to your heart muscle.
Because a heart attack may be deadly, it is essential to notice the warning signs and call for help immediately.
Among the symptoms are:
- a painful, tightening sensation in the center of the chest
- spreading to the arms, neck, jaw, or back
- having a heavy sensation in the chest
- heartburn or indigestion-like symptoms
- Vomiting and nausea are common.
- sweating and clammy
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- anxiousness that resembles a panic attack might occur in some instances.
- fluid buildup in the lungs causes coughing or wheezing.
The sequence and length of the symptoms might vary — they may last several days or suddenly disappear.
Following a heart attack, some patients develop consequences such as chest pain. These may include the following, depending on how terrible the event was:
Depression: This is typical after a heart attack, and talking with loved ones and joining support groups can be beneficial in dealing with it.
Arrhythmia: In this condition, the heart beats erratically, either too quickly or too slowly.
Edema: Fluid collects in the ankles and legs, causing swelling and discomfort.
Aneurysm: Scar tissue accumulates on the injured heart wall, causing the heart muscle to weaken and stretch, finally resulting in the formation of a sac in the heart. This can also result in the formation of blood clots.
Angina: Chest discomfort is caused when insufficient oxygen reaches the heart muscle.
Heart failure: Fatigue, trouble breathing, and edema are all caused by the heart’s inability to pump adequately.
Rupture of the myocardium: The result of heart attack-related injury to a section of the heart, this is a rip in the heart muscle.
The use of ongoing therapy and monitoring can assist to lessen the likelihood of these issues developing.
Silent heart attacks and diabetes
Nerve injury can occur in diabetics who are overweight or obese (neuropathy). Unless the nerves feeding your heart have been destroyed, you may not experience the typical agony associated with your heart muscle being oxygen-depleted. Diabetes patients must rely on other warning indicators, such as the following:
- shortness of breath
- stomach pains that come unexpectedly
- High blood glucose levels that persist despite the absence of an apparent cause
Take our quiz about warning signals to see how well you know the subject.
Women and heart attack warning signs
Women might show any of the heart attack symptoms. However, they can have heart attacks in a different way than men:
- The discomfort may expand to the shoulders, neck, belly, and even back.
- the discomfort may be indigestion-like and intermittent
- Unexplained anxiousness, nausea, dizziness, palpitations, and chilly sweats
Unexplained fatigue in women might precede other heart attack symptoms.
Can heart attacks be avoided or prevented?
Live a healthy lifestyle to avoid heart attacks. Included here are:
- If you are a smoker, consider quitting. Avoiding second-hand smoke.
- Maintaining a low-fat and cholesterol-free diet.
- Regular physical activity.
- Take control of your emotions.
- Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
- maintaining a healthy level of glucose in the blood (if you have diabetes).
- Have frequent check-ups with your doctor.
The arrival of the emergency crew takes over the person’s care.
Give the team as much information about the person’s health as possible.
The crew will provide oxygen and try to stabilize the victim.
A medical team will conduct tests and treat you at the hospital.
Among the most prevalent solutions are:
- medicines to dissolve blood clots
- Percutaneous coronary intervention restores blood flow to injured tissue.
- A coronary artery bypass transplant improves blood flow by diverting blood around damaged arteries.
The medical team will also help the patient build a treatment plan to prevent future episodes.