Heart Attack Symptoms
Heart is the hollow muscular organ located behind the sternum and between the lungs. It is the organ that pumps the blood in blood vessels by rhythmic contractions called systole and diastole.
A heart attack occurs when blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are blocked, preventing enough oxygen from getting to the heart. In heart attack, the heart muscle dies or becomes permanently damaged. Medically, it is called myocardial infarction or MI.
Heart attack may come with few early signs. Some of them are:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the chest, usually lasting longer than two minutes
- Pain radiating to the shoulders, neck, jaw, arms, or back
- Dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, or weakness
Note: None of these symptoms assures that a heart attack is in progress, but the more symptoms you have, the more likely it is a heart attack.
Here are few symptoms when you have an heart attack:
Chest pain is a major symptom of heart attack. You may feel the pain in only one part of your body, or it may move from your chest to your arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back.
The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:
- A tight band around the chest
- Something heavy sitting on your chest
- Squeezing or heavy pressure
The pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Symptoms may also go away and come back.
Other symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Light-headedness, dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating too fast)
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme sweating
- 25 percent of cases of heart attack have no symptoms of this condition. It is especially true for people suffering with the auto-immune disorder, type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism:
When blood clots in one of the pathways of the heart called artery, flow of oxygen rich blood can get obstructed. Heart attack caused by such a situation is called pulmonary embolism. Signs to watch out for are:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Attacks of anxiety
- Sharp pain while trying to breath technically called pleuritic chest pain
- Light headedness
- Coughing up blood
- Swelling of legs and ankles
- Bluish skin
- Swollen neck veins
Facts and Statistics Associated with Heart Attack in the United States:
- According to an estimate nearly 6 million people in the United States get hospitalized because of heart disease.
- Nearly 2,500 Americans loose their lives because of heart disease every day.
- Heart attack grips a person in this country for every 20 seconds.
- It happens to be the cause of death for an individual for every 34 seconds.
- Nearly 250,000 people die every year because of this fatal condition before they reach hospital.
- Under-educated people without much awareness about the present day health and life style related crisis are worst affected with heart attacks.
- The risk of men suffering heart attacks can begin 10 years earlier in their lives than women.
- Smoking, alcohol, obesity, diabetes and depression are the primary hreats which accelerate the risk of getting heart attack.
- Research studies are off late discovering a nexus between these risk factors which is a major concern for health professionals in this country.