If you feel that you present a new abnormal symptom, especially not if you have some from known risk factors for coronary disease, seek medical attention.
50% of those who suffer cardiac arrest have warning symptoms for days or weeks.
These symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and heart “fluttering”.
Quick diagnosis and early treatment of heart attack is paramount to save the patient’s life.
However, in many cases a heart attack begins as a mild pain or discomfort. Symptoms can appear, leave and then return.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death among men and women, accounting for 40% of all deaths. But why is heart disease is so lethal? One reason is that many people do not seek immediate assistance as soon as the first symptoms manifest. But cardiac symptoms are not always obvious, or apparent and vary from person to person and by gender.
And because it can be difficult to understand cardiac symptoms, you should not ignore any warning signs, waiting for them to leave on their own or attributing them to conditions such as heartburn, muscle stiffness or other non-cardiac causes.
This is particularly true for men and generally people over 65 years of age and for those who have cardiac risk factors. Elevated levels of cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, smoking and family history of heart disease are just some of the risk factors for heart attack, stroke and heart failure.
The more risk factors one has, it is more likely that a symptom signals that something is wrong with the heart. People do not want to admit that they are old or seriously ill to have heart problems. A serious heart problem can mean sudden death and it is preferable to address it rather than die.
Which are the possible cardiac symptoms that should not be ignored?
Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can last more than a few minutes; the symptoms can subside and return. The discomfort may be an unpleasant feeling or intense pressure in the chest, a tightness or pain.
The pain in the center of the chest, known as the precordial region, is particularly strong. It lasts about 30 minutes and is not go away with rest. It occurs during physical exertion.
In some cases it may happen during sleep waking up the patient. The patient experiences pain as if it is heavy weight, or tightness, or even as burning in the precordial region
Chest pain is a classic symptom of a heart attack. All heart attacks do not cause chest pain, while it is known that this pain can be caused by conditions unrelated to the heart.
The heart-related chest pain is often felt below the breastbone, and maybe a little to the left. The pain is described as “an elephant sitting on my chest”, but can resemble an unpleasant sensation of pressure or fullness. It is not unusual for women to describe pain as a minor discomfort. In fact some women say that the pain is bad enough to need a painkiller.
Women, more than men, may also have a burning sensation in the chest, instead of pressure or pain.
Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that the chest pain stems from a stomach problem. Read more here