A heart attack can feel different to anybody who experiences the potentially fatal event. Yet, there are common signs it’s best to be aware of that signal an attack. One sensation in the chest can be very revealing.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) state chest pain or discomfort that feels like your chest is being squeezed is one telling sign you may be having a heart attack.
The charity notes how pain levels vary from person to person, so what one person would describe as uncomfortable may be extremely painful for someone else.
- Heart attack symptoms: The sign in the body you need to watch out for
The BHF also say the sensation in the chest could be described as a feeling of “pressure” or “heaviness”.
The key point is that the feeling comes on suddenly and doesn’t go away.
Other common symptoms of a heart attack the BHF would like to emphasise are feeling sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath.
Another typical symptom is “pain that may spread to your left or right arm, or may spread to your neck, jaw, back or stomach”.
Heart attack symptoms can also persist over days.
The BHF would like to clear up that, although symptoms differ from person to person, women do not experience certain symptoms more or less than men.
Rapid treatment of a heart attack is essential to restore blood flow to the affected part of the heart muscle.
A quick response can help to limit the amount of damage to the heart.
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The BHF state the main cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease.
This is when fatty material, called atheroma, builds up inside your contrary arteries – a process called atherosclerosis.
Eventually, the arteries may become so narrow that blood flow is restricted to the heart.
If a piece of atheroma breaks off, it can cause a blood clot to form.
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This blood clot can block the coronary artery, cutting off the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart, thereby causing a heart attack.
Grouped together, commons symptoms of coronary heart disease is called angina.
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain travelling through the body, feeling faint and nausea.
Risk factors of developing coronary heart disease include smoking, being overweight, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
At present, there is a free NHS health check to assess the risk of coronary heart disease.
This is administered to those aged between 40 and 74 years old and live in England.
But is only available for those up to the age of 64 in Scotland.
The health check usually takes place at your local GP clinic, where a healthcare professional will check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
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