Heart attacks are one of the leading causes of death in both men and women in the United States. One of the biggest reasons why heart attacks are so deadly is not because of the severity of the attack; it’s because the signs and symptoms are often not known, which means that they are ignored and go untreated – and it’s when a heart attack goes untreated that it becomes so dangerous.
So, what are the signs of a heart attack? If you have the image of a person clutching his or her chest and falling down onto the ground, clear that out of your head.
While this could be a sign of a heart attack, more often than not, the symptoms are very different and much milder? So, what are the signs of a heart attack that you should be aware? Here are five big ones that you should absolutely be aware of:
- Pain in the chest. In the Hollywood movies, you often see someone clutching his or her chest when a heart attack comes on. While in real life, that dramatic chest pain isn’t necessarily how the chest pain happens, there is some truth to the pain in the chest that is illustrated. If you feel pain in your chest that is mildly or severely uncomfortable, which is usually experienced in the middle of the chest, head to the hospital right away.
- Pain in other areas. The pain that is associated with a heart attack isn’t only felt in the chest; it is felt in several other places, too. Other areas where you might feel pain when you are having a heart attack include down the left arm, throughout the back and up along the side of the neck to the jaw. It can also often be felt in the abdomen and between the shoulders.
- You might not experience pain, but instead, pressure. Heart attacks often create the feeling of pressure in the chest and the aforementioned parts of the body.
- A general feeling of sickness, also known as malaise, is often associated with a heart attack. If you suddenly feel like you are sick to your stomach and you want to throw up, you may be having a heart attack.
- Dizziness and shortness of breath. Another classic symptom of a heart attack is dizziness and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are out of breath when you haven’t been physically active and you don’t have a lung condition, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you could be having a heart attack. In addition to that breathless feeling, you may also feel dizzy.
If you ever experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, head to an emergency room right away. If it is a heart attack, the sooner you are treated, the better of you will be.