Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart Attack Symptoms May Be Subtle

Some heart attack symptoms – like some heart attacks – may be sudden and intense. But more often a heart attack comes on slowly. It is often true that a person suffering a heart attack is not sure what is happening and therefore waits too long to get help. It is important, then, to be familiar with the signs that may indicate you are having a heart attack. 

Chest Pain 

A very common sign for men is chest pain (angina). The pain may not be intense. Instead it can feel like an uncomfortable pressure or squeezing in the center of the chest. The discomfort may last a considerable time. Or it may go away and come back again. 

Chest pain is also very common with women. However, women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms. 

Extended Pressure 

The pain associated with heart attack symptoms may not be restricted to the chest. It can be mild or intense and can affect…

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Neck
  • Jaw
  • Stomach
  • Back

The discomfort may feel like pressure or tightness. It may even include a burning sensation. 

Other Symptoms 

Shortness of breath may indicate you are having a heart attack even when you are experiencing no chest pain. Symptoms may also include nausea, sweating, or light-headedness. 

It is possible to feel as if your stomach is full, that you have indigestion, or that you are choking. You may feel weak. Or your heart may be beating rapidly and irregularly. 

It is even possible to experience a heart attack without noticing any symptoms. Your doctor may discover damage during a routine checkup.


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What Do You Do When Experiencing Heart Attack Symptoms?

If you suspect you are experiencing a heart attack get help right away. Call 9-1-1.

Ambulances are outfitted with trained personnel and medical equipment that can save your life. By calling 9-1-1 you can receive medical treatment much more quickly than if someone drives you to the hospital. Not only can you receive medical attention the moment the ambulance arrives at your house, you will get preferential treatment at the emergency room if you arrive by ambulance.

How Can I Know For Sure That I Experienced a Heart Attack?

Suspecting you experienced heart attack symptoms is no guarantee that you actually suffered a heart attack. It is enough, however, for you to call 9-1-1. 

A heart attack event can only be properly diagnosed by a doctor. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) can discover any abnormalities associated with damaged myocardium (heart muscle). 

A heart attack can also affect certain enzyme levels. A blood test can help determine if the presence of these enzymes indicates that you suffered a heart attack. 


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