It is said that a person in the US suffers from a heart attack every thirty-four seconds. Many survive and go back to leading a normal life. But this isn’t the case for everybody as it is also one of the most common causes of sudden deaths every year.
A heart attack is medically known as a myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction. It happens when blood stops flowing properly to the heart and the muscles get injured as a result of a lack of oxygen. There are a lot of warning signs of a heart attack that can help prevent a major calamity.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Some of the most common warning signs of a heart attack for both men and women are:
Sudden Chest Pain
In the case of a heart attack, one might experience a sudden chest pain or discomfort. This pain mainly occurs in the center or left side of the chest. It often lasts more than a few minutes or could go away briefly and return.
One may even feel like there is pressure, fullness or squeezing in the chest. Sometimes, people would think it’s just a heartburn or it’s a result of indigestion.
Discomfort in Upper Body Parts
You may experience some kind of discomfort in the upper body parts. There may be pain in either one or both arms, your neck, jaw, shoulders, back or the upper part of your stomach.
Shortness of Breath
You could begin to experience a shortness of breath. Breathing may prove difficult as a result of the tightening or a constricted feeling in your chest. It may happen before the uncomfortable chest pain or while the chest pain is happening. It could even happen while you’re resting and not doing so much or it could happen while you’re carrying out a physical activity.
You could experience a bit of light-headedness or dizziness. It also could happen along with the pain in the chest and the shortness of breath or it could happen before.
One might suddenly break out into a cold sweat for no reason.
There are a lot of other possible warning signs that indicate that a person may be experiencing a heart attack. They include exhaustion for no reason, vomiting, nausea, restlessness, a fear of death, intense anxiety and a general feeling of nausea or “unwellness “
These signs can vary with different people. In fact, they may vary so much that people may not even realize that what they are experiencing are symptoms of a heart attack.
In females for example, they most likely may not experience an obvious symptom like the chest pain. They may experience other unusual symptoms like abdominal discomfort, unusual fatigue, nausea, pain or pressure in the neck, shoulder, jaw or upper back, etc.
Lots of Risk Factors exist that make some people more susceptible to a heart disease or heart attack than others. These 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
If you want to work on preventing or at least reducing your risk of a heart attack, then it will entail making a few lifestyle or dietary changes. Below are a few tips :
• It’s important that you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
• You may not always feel like it, but learn to exercise daily.
• Get quality sleep. The least amount of sleep you should get is six hours everyday.
• If you have diabetes, take all the necessary measures to keep it under control.
• Quit smoking. Even second-hand smoke can be dangerous for your heart.
• Reduce the amount of alcohol you take and make sure you’re not indulging regularly.
• Keep your blood cholesterol and blood pressure at very safe levels.
• If you are overweight, it’s imperative that you begin taking steps to ensure you to lose weight. It may look difficult but it’s not impossible.
• Either reduce how much stress you’re subjecting yourself to or simply learn to manage stress better. It’s much better to reduce the stress though.
What to do if you are having symptoms
If you start to experience some of these warning signs and it goes on way past ten minutes, it’s important you take necessary steps. Remember that if the blood flow isn’t restored as soon as possible, parts of the muscles of your heart may begin to die off. This could lead to severe or long lasting problems like a heart failure. Here are a few measure you can take to make sure you’re safe again :
• Seek emergency medical care, even if you are not sure it is a heart attack. If it is, this will give you the best chance of survival and recovery.
• Avoid driving at this time as it is unsafe. Let someone drive you instead, maybe to a hospital to the hospital or call for help and wait for the ambulance as it is the best and safest way to get to the hospital.
• Do not panic. Stay calm by taking deep, slow breaths.
• Open the doors and windows of the room to get some fresh air, this will help your breathing, a bit .
• If you are not allergic to aspirin, you can chew an aspirin. This can lessen the damage to your heart by inhibiting platelets.
• Every minute matters when you or someone else is having a heart attack. It’s urgent that you act fast when you notice warning signs of a heart attack either with you or someone else. This will reduce the damage to one’s heart and can save a precious life.