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Heart Attack Symptoms

by Chandroo D.


Having experienced a heart attack during 1995, I feel I should share the symptoms with family and friends.  The attack was totally a surprise and I was completely unaware of what hit me!  Thanks to my immediate action to visit an emergency ward in a general hospital, I was stabilized and saved.


I have been lucky so far and presently always alert for any sudden symptoms that may arise again.  Consequently many a times in the past, I have had silent alerts and have taken immediate steps to see my cardiologist who then diagnoses me, performs an angioplasty and adds in a stent into my blocked artery.  He checks me in during an afternoon, operates and allows me to leave in the morning back to my routine life.


Heart attack symptoms vary.  Not all people who have heart attacks experience the same symptoms or experience them to the same degree. Many heart attacks aren't as dramatic as the ones you've seen on TV. Some people have no symptoms at all, while for others, the first sign may be sudden cardiac arrest. Still, the more signs and symptoms you have, the greater the likelihood that you may be having a heart attack. The severity of heart attack symptoms can vary too. Some people have mild pain, while others experience severe pain.


A heart attack can occur anytime — at work or play, while you're resting, or while you're in motion. Some heart attacks strike suddenly, but many people who experience a heart attack have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks in advance. The earliest warning of a heart attack may be recurrent chest pain (angina) that's triggered by exertion and relieved by rest. Angina is caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the heart.


A heart attack usually occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery — a blood vessel that feeds blood to a part of the heart muscle. The interrupted blood flow that occurs during a heart attack can damage or destroy a part of the heart muscle.


A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, can be fatal. Treatment for heart attack has improved dramatically over the years. It is crucial to promptly recognize symptoms and call emergency medical help if you think you might be having a heart attack.


Acting fast at the first sign of heart attack symptoms can save your life and limit damage to your heart. Treatment works best when it's given right after symptoms occur.


Heart attack symptoms include:


  • Chest pain or discomfort. This involves uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest that can be mild or strong. This discomfort or pain often lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.

  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.

  • Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort.

  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, light-headedness or sudden dizziness, or breaking out in a cold sweat.

  • Symptoms also may include sleep problems, fatigue (tiredness), and lack of energy


Be alert and stay healthy!


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