Unexpected Heart Attack Symptoms You Need to Know
Many of us have a general understanding of what someone having a heart attack looks like, or we can assume what a heart attack feels like. However, these perceptions can be either underexaggerated or downplayed, and thus an opportunity to recognize a life-threatening medical issue could be at risk of being ignored or misunderstood.
We strongly encourage both male and female patients to become familiar with heart attack symptoms, including those that are subtler. Acting fast is key to helping someone experiencing a cardiac event, so recognizing symptoms and seeking emergency medical care is essential. Pacific Family Practice has provided a list of heart attack symptoms below. Some you may already be familiar with, and some may be unexpected.
Heart attack symptoms you need to know
Chest discomfort and/or pain – These symptoms include tightness, achiness, pressure, fullness and/or squeezing that last for more than a few minutes. Please note that these symptoms can come and go, so you will need to keep an eye on them for longer than the first pass.
Difficulty breathing – The individual may not be able to take a deep breath or may struggle to breathe normally.
Upper-body pain – It’s common for pain to extend from the chest area to the arms, shoulders, teeth, neck, jaw or back. In some cases, pain will exist in these areas but not within the chest.
Sweating – A sudden cold sweat is common during a heart attack.
Vomiting – Sometimes, someone having or about to have a heart attack will feel nauseated and may vomit.
Dizziness – The person may feel faint or feel a general lightheadedness.
Palpitations – An awareness of the sensation that the heart is beating very fast or differently.
Anxiousness – Sometimes, a heart attack can mimic symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack. Symptoms of this nature should always be taken very seriously, even if a panic attack is suspected or within someone’s medical history. Do not assume it’s a panic attack without seeking medical care immediately.
Sudden fatigue – Instances of sudden, intense fatigue could be symptomatic of a heart attack, especially in cases where any of the above symptoms are also present.
Do I visit Pacific Family Practice during a heart attack?
No. Pacific Family Practice or other urgent care/family practice facilities are not the appropriate choice during a cardiac event. Please call 911 immediately or visit an emergency room for professional medical care. Your Pacific Family Practice provider is not the appropriate resource during a heart attack, though he or she may be an adviser for post-heart attack health care and screening.
If you have questions about heart attack symptoms, risk factors for a heart attack and more, please feel free to contact Pacific Family Practice today.