A myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack, occurs when blood flow to the heart is disrupted and the heart muscles become injured due to the lack of oxygen. Many people survive a heart attack and return to their normal everyday life. But it is a fact that heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death and should be taken very seriously.
Here are some of the warning signs of heart attack that could help prevent further complications.
Sudden Chest Pain: It usually occurs in the center or the left side of the chest and lasts more than a few minutes or recurs. The person might also feel pressure, squeezing or fullness in the chest. Chest pain is sometimes mistaken for heartburn or indigestion.
Discomfort in Upper Body Parts: A person having a heart attack might feel discomfort in the upper body parts or pain in one or both arms, the shoulders, back, jaw, neck or the upper part of the stomach.
Shortness of Breath: This could occur before or along with chest pain while resting or during physical activity. The person feels shortness of breath or has difficulty breathing.
Dizziness: The person having a heart attack feels dizzy or light-headed.
Cold Sweat: The person having a heart attack may break out in a cold sweat without any a reason.
Other warning signs of a heart attack are feeling nauseated or tired for no reason, vomiting, intense anxiety, and a general feeling of being ill.
These warning sings vary from person to person to the extent that many people don’t even realize they are having symptoms of a heart attack.
Women don’t usually experience chest pain, they are more likely to experience symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, unusual fatigue, pressure or pain in the neck, upper back or shoulder etc.
The risk of heart disease and heart attacks is higher for some people. Some risk factors include:
-Abnormal blood levels of certain lipids
-High blood pressure
-Lack of physical activity
-Chronic kidney disease
-Excessive alcohol consumption
-Use of cocaine and amphetamines
Preventing a heart attack
There are simple lifestyle and dietary changes you can do in order to help prevent the risk of a heart attack. Some of them are:
-eating a well-balanced diet,
-getting quality sleep of 6-7 hours daily,
-limiting your alcohol intake,
-keeping your blood cholesterol and blood pressure at safe levels,
-taking steps to lose weight if you are overweight,
-if diabetic, take all the measures to keep it under control,
-try to reduce stress in your life.
What to do if you are having symptoms
If the warning signs of a heart attack last for more than 10 minutes you have to take the necessary steps. Some of the immediate measures are:
-Seeking emergency medical care whether or not you are sure it is a heart attack. If it is, doing this will give you the best chance to survive and recover.
-Ask someone to drive you to the hospital or wait for an ambulance
-Stay calm by taking deep breaths
-Get fresh air; this can help you breathe better
-Chew an aspirin (if you are not allergic to it). This reduces the damage to your heart
When someone is having a heart attack every minute counts so it is very important to act fast after noticing the warning signs. This could limit the damage to the heart and even save a life.