According to the American Heart Association, a heart attack occurs every 40 seconds in the United States. When the blood flow carrying oxygen to the heart muscle is drastically decreased or entirely cut off, a heart attack occurs, and your body reacts in a variety of ways.
A steady supply of oxygen-rich blood is required by your heart muscle. Your coronary arteries provide this vital blood supply to your heart. When you have coronary artery disease, your arteries narrow, preventing blood from flowing as freely as it should. A heart attack occurs when your blood supply is cut off.
Plaques are formed when fat, calcium, proteins, and inflammatory cells accumulate in your arteries. On the outside, these plaque deposits are hard, but on the inside, they are soft and mushy.
The outer shell of the plaque fractures when it becomes firm. This is referred to as a rupture. Blood clots form around the plaque as platelets (disc-shaped particles in your blood that help it clot) arrive. Your heart muscle will be deprived of oxygen if a blood clot plugs an artery. Muscle cells die quickly, resulting in irreversible injury.
However, unlike in the movies, a heart attack isn't always clear, which is why understanding what symptoms to watch for can save your life. Here are some symptoms people encounter before and after heart attack.
1. You may have shoulder or arm pain
According to the American Heart Association, many women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shoulder pain and arm pain. Despite the fact that both men and women can feel chest pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting across their chest, women can have a heart attack without chest pressure.
2. You may have nausea or vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are also two probable indications of a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. Nausea and profuse perspiration are the first two symptoms that many people experience when they have a heart attack.
3. You may experience neck, jaw, or back discomfort
According to the American Heart Association, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as the jaw, neck, and back, is another common indication of a heart attack. Fatigue and radiating pain along the jaw are two classic symptoms of a heart attack. Other potential issues include excruciating pain between the shoulder blades, cold chills, dizziness, nausea, chest pressure, shoulder pain that extends down both arms, and shortness of breath.
4. You might experience chest discomfort
In most cases, heart attacks, according to the American Heart Association, involve discomfort in the middle of the chest that lasts longer than a few minutes – or that goes away and then returns. It can feel like a tightening, squeezing, fullness, or pain. While many people assume that this type of pain is severe and quick and that it looks like someone grabbing their chest in desperation in the movies, the symptom can actually be much more subtle.
5. You may experience lightheadedness
Lightheadedness or dizziness is a non-specific indication of a heart attack that many people dismiss as something less dangerous.
As for yourself, stay healthy during this pandemic, since COVID can lead to heart trouble—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people who are not currently living with you (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others.
You need immediate treatment after a heart attack to unblock the blocked artery and reduce the damage. Call 911 if you think you're having a heart attack. Within 1 to 2 hours of the onset of symptoms, the optimal time to treat a heart attack is. Waiting longer causes more cardiac damage and lowers your chances of surviving.