No one wants to have a heart attack, but many people do since it is the number one killer in many countries. One reason for this is obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. But even stress can cause a heart attack. Whether you are a business person running a busy digital marketing business or a hardworking carpet cleaner, when you have a heart attack it is essential to have treatment as soon as possible to lessen the damage done to the heart. The troubles is that not everyone recognises they are having a heart attack because of the symptoms they get. It is not always pain in the heart or chest area that heralds such an attack.
Here are some of the signs of a heart attack. If they last for 10 minutes, you should dial 000.
- Pain in the lower jaw – on either side – that extends into the chest.
- Pain or discomfort in the neck, with a burning or choking feeling in the throat. It may actually originate in the chest and move to the neck.
- Pain, heaviness or pressure in the shoulders that moves to the chest. One or both shoulders can be affected.
- Pain, heaviness or tightness in the centre of the chest. Generally a stabbing, sharp pain in the chest is not indicative of a heart attack. It is more like a crushing weight.
- A dull ache between the shoulder blades that spread from the chest
- Pain, heaviness, discomfort, tingling or uselessness in one or both arms, often originating from the chest.
Secondary warning signs that often also accompany the above can be nausea, cold sweats, dizziness and shortness of breath.
Women especially seem to think that the above signs are not heart attack symptoms, but due to some other cause such as indigestion or having strained a muscle somehow. However, it is important to get help if you even suspect a heart attack, even if it ends up not being one. If the symptoms are severe, getting worse or last longer than 10 minutes, do not wait until the morning to get help.
It is far better to be sure than sorry and the sooner you get help the more likely you are to survive, if it is a heart attack. It if is not, the doctor or paramedics will still check you out to make sure nothing else is wrong.
If you are with someone who has a heart attack, do not let them lie down even if they want to. Keeping them sitting up is the best way to keep them alive until the ambulance arrives. If you’ve never learned CPR, it is a good idea to do so. That way you may be able to save someone’s life, like the pharmacist who gave CPR to a collapsed customer.