Risk of heart diseases rises, with changing life styles. At least one crore such cases are being reported every year. The number of heart attack cases among the young, is also increasing. Many are losing their lives. If signs of a heart attack are detected early and the person is immediately shifted to a hospital, chances of survival are high. That is why it is important to learn about the signs of a heart attack.
Heart Attack is a medical emergency. It occurs due to lack of blood supply to the heart, as blood vessels are blocked because of accumulation of fat. Or it might be caused due to contraction of the blood vessels, resulting in lack of blood circulation. Consequently, living cells in the body do not have oxygen supply. This is life-threatening. At least one person dies due to heart attack in the country, for every 33 seconds, statistics say. Annually, at least 20 lakh people die of heart attack. From four to 10 of the deaths due to heart attack is among those below 45 years of age.
Catch in the chest
There is a catch in the chest. The main symptom that is seen in a majority of cases, is this. If the artery, connected to the heart, is blocked there is pain and stress, with catch in the chest. In each one, the experience is different. Some feel as if an elephant is sitting on the chest. Some others feel pressure or burning sensation. A few have discomfort in the chest. This is not just for a couple of minutes, but remains for a long time. It happens while doing some work, or even in sleep. If there is slight pain, and this increases by applying pressure with the hand, it might not be related to the heart. In medical terms, heart pain is termed as Angina. It is a condition that is seen in coronary artery disease. This leads to heart attack. If this symptom is seen in anyone with or without heart disease, the person should be shifted to the hospital at once.
A few will have vomiting during a heart attack. This symptom is seen more in women than in men, when they have an attack. Heart burn, stomach ache, indigestion, are all symptoms of food not agreeing, and related to the digestive system. But remember, these occur even during heart attack. So do not neglect them.
Chest, shoulder pain
This is one of the foremost signs of a heart attack. The pain starts in the chest region and spreads to the left arm and shoulder. It occurs in most of the heart attack patients. In some there is pain in both hands. Also, there is pain in the vertebral column, neck and abdomen.
Dizziness and headache occur, due to weakness, and lack of proper diet or on starving. If the food intake is adequate, but the victim has dizziness, headache and chest pain with difficulty in breathing, treatment should not be delayed at any cost. This condition occurs due to drop in blood pressure levels and because the heart is unable to pump blood, say doctors.
Throat, jaw pain
Throat or jaw aches when the person suffers from a cold or sinus problem. However, in some cases, pain in the heart leads to stress, which spreads to the throat and jaw. Experts state that if these signs are noticed, the person must be immediately shifted to the hospital.
Fatigue, breathlessness, obesity
As the heart cannot pump adequate oxygenated blood to the body parts, there is fatigue and breathlessness. Obesity can be linked to decreased efficiency in the functioning of the heart. The pumping is stopped and there is no proper blood circulation to lower limbs. As such, water collects in ankles, legs, thighs, lower abdomen, leading to increase in weight. The condition is called oedema. The same condition in the lungs, hampers replacement of carbondioxide with oxygen, in the blood. This leads to fatigue. There is breathlessness while walking or climbing stairs.
Swelling in the legs
There is swelling in some parts of the body, when the blood supply is decreased, due to heart dysfunction. If the heart fails to pump the blood with enough pressure, the blood does not reach some parts, like the lower limbs and goes back. These parts swell in the process. Just because there is swelling, it need not be concluded as heart disease. The same condition is seen in kidney failure. Heart failure also affects the functioning of the kidneys.
In the above mentioned conditions, if there is sweating, following catch in the chest, it must be concluded as heart attack, medical experts warned.
If there is persistent cough, it needs be concluded that it is heart disease. But if the condition exists in heart patients, then it is better to consult a doctor.
If there is snoring, suspect that it might be related to heart problem. A slight snoring for a while is nothing odd. But if snoring occurs for long durations, with loud noises, it might be due to sleep apnoea. As such, it causes stress to the heart and lead to heart attack.
Irregular heart beat
Heart beat should be rhythmic. But if it is too fast or too slow, it is a sign of heart problem. An examination by the doctor is necessary.
Different in women, men
When there is heart attack among men, a majority suffer catch in the heart, pain in the left arm and shoulder, and spine. In women, breathlessness, dizziness, vomiting, pain in the jaw and spine is seen. In men there might be pain in shoulder blades, close to the spine, and also in upper abdominal region.
Who are at risk
If heart problems runs in the family, the members invariably are prone to have heart attacks. People suffering from high cholesterol and triglycerides, hypertension, diabetes, regular consumption of alcohol, smoking, tobacco chewing, obesity, lack of exercise, those involved in stressful work, lack of sleep or leisure, are at a high risk of heart diseases. Men are at a higher risk than women. Among those who are suffering from heart diseases and attacks at a young age, men are a majority. Risk factor increases in women after menopause.
Do not neglect
Do not neglect if any of the above symptoms are seen. If it is known beforehand, you can prevent a heart attack and thereby a life threatening situation. The qualities and signs can be seen beforehand in a person, who might suffer a heart attack. But because of their negligence, they lose their lives. In very few cases there will be those who suffer heart attack suddenly, and lose their lives. Heart diseases and heart failure do not occur at the moment, within an hour or within days. There will be a lot of change in their working style, for a long time. That is why, check up is a must for those who crossed 30 years, once in a year, once every six months for those who crossed 45 years, and once every three months for those who crossed 60 years. With this, any problem will be detected in the beginning itself. Doctors can treat this immediately. Any threat to life can be removed.
At least 23 per cent of heart patients, lose their lives, within a year, according to a comprehensive survey, by The International Congestive Heart Failure. Heart failure, due to neglect, leads to death, the study proved. When doctors are consulted in the beginning itself, they will suggest medicines, lifestyle changes and changes in food habits. They will suggest bypass surgery or other surgery if there is a problem.
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