Are You Having a Heart Attack? Warning Signs, Causes, and Treatment
One of the most feared health issues is a heart attack, yet it is common among adults. As you grow older, everyone around you will start cautioning you about taking care of your body enough so that you never need heart attack treatment near you. If that is your agenda, also stay informed about what it means to have a heart attack, and find out the causes thereof.
What Is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack is a condition that affects the normal functioning of the heart due to a blockage of the blood vessels. When the blood vessels channeling blood to and from the heart are blocked, an insufficient supply of oxygenated blood can travel from the heart through your body.
Heart blockages result from various factors, including fat deposits, cholesterol, and blood clots. The longer a blockage lingers in the blood vessels, the more it interrupts blood flow. Interrupted blood flow eventually renders part of the heart muscle inactive and damaged.
What Causes a Heart Attack?
The general cause of heart attacks is the blockage of coronary arteries. The significance of the blockage determines the severity of the heart attack. Anyone can get a heart attack, but some people are at a higher risk of it than others. Some of the risk factors for this heart condition are:
- Aging – the older you get, the higher your risks of getting a heart attack are. Patients over the age of 55 years are generally at a high risk of heart attacks. For men, the risk is greater when they turn 45 years.
- Smoking and other tobacco usages – long-term smokers easily get heart attacks. However, even secondary exposure to smoke for a long while can increase your chances of coronary artery blockage.
- Hypertension – hypertensive health issues among patients can damage their arteries and lead to heart attacks. Patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure often know about the fatality of the disease when they get a heart attack.
- Obesity and being overweight – fat deposits in your bloodstream can build up and clog up your blood vessels, leading to heart problems.
- Diabetes – diabetic patients suffer from several health issues, including the potential risk of heart attacks.
- Genetics – some of the patients who need regular exams in ERs for chest pain are patients whose family has a history of heart problems. If several people in your family have had episodes of a heart attack at a young age, it increases your risk of getting them too.
- Stress and depression – your mental state can destabilize your health enough to increase the risk of heart issues like a stroke or heart attack.
- Physical inactivity – can you imagine that the lack of physical activity can send you to a 24/7 ER for a heart emergency? Prolonged inactivity increases your cholesterol levels, which impacts the state of your heart and blood vessels.
Signs You Are Having a Heart Attack
You should always visit a doctor any time you suspect you have a heart problem or abnormality. However, at Express Emergency Room in Abilene, we educate all patients regarding the common symptoms that could indicate they are having a heart attack, including the following:
- Chest pain – a feeling of tightness in your chest area.
- Sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, and loss of balance.
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Inconsistent heartbeats – or even skipping a beat.
- Severe abdominal pain – often accompanied by heartburn
- Aching – begins in your chest region and seems to be spreading to other parts of your body like your arms and legs.
When to Seek Treatment
Although the above symptoms are common among some patients with heart attacks, not everyone has them. The symptoms will always vary based on the seriousness of your heart attack. Any signs of sudden discomfort and anomaly you detect regarding your health should prompt you to visit an Abilene emergency room for a checkup. Besides, given that heart attacks can kill you, never take chances when you experience suchlike symptoms. Visit a heart attack emergency care center near you immediately you suspect of having a heart attack.