Heart attack symptoms: Three common signs of the deadly condition and shouldn’t be ignored
Heart attack occurs when a coronary artery becomes suddenly blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle and causing damage. Heart diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK. That is nearly 170,000 deaths each year with an average of 460 deaths each day or one every three minutes in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation. Knowing the early signs and symptoms could be a matter of life or death for you or someone else. What are the three main signs of an impending heart attack?
Feeling a pressure, tightness or pain in the chest or shoulders
Feeling pain and pressure in the body has many different causes.
When feeling a dull burning feeling in the chest that doesn’t go away or feels like it’s getting worse could be something more serious. Millions of people experience chest and shoulder pains but only 20 per cent of the time it means a heart attack.
Some experience angina which occurs when part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs.
Feelings of pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness or pain that persists and comes on quickly could be a warning symptom of a heart attack.
Nausea, indigestion and vomiting
A person may suddenly break into a sweat with cold, clammy skin. Feelings of heart palpitations, feeling sick in the stomach and even vomiting are warning signs that you may be at serious risk of having a heart attack.
The feelings could also be similar to sweating, weakness, and dizziness.
Feelings of indigestion have also been early signs of a heart attack.
Getting exhausted quickly
Feeling tired or exhausted for no reason could be sign of an impending heart attack. Fatigue with shortness of breath are more common in women than men and may begin months before a heart attack.
Having breathlessness and experiencing low levels of energy should not be ignored.
Those with severe heart failure could experience breathlessness even when lying down and resting.
Fortunately, there are steps people can take to ward off the threat of a heart attack.
Smoking is a significant risk factor for example. According to the American Heart Association, the risk that smokers will develop coronary heart disease is much higher than that for nonsmokers.
“Cigarette smoking is a powerful independent risk factor for sudden cardiac death in patients with coronary heart disease.
“Cigarette smoking also interacts with other risk factors to greatly increase the risk for coronary heart disease.
“Exposure to other people’s smoke increases the risk of heart disease even for nonsmokers,” explained the health body.
The NHS said: “Making lifestyle changes is the most effective way to prevent having a heart attack.
“There are three main steps you can take to help prevent a heart attack and these are eating healthy, avoid smoking, and try to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.”
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