Heart attacks are a serious medical emergency that demand immediate care. They occur when oxygen flow to the heart is severely restricted or cut off completely. Knowing and recognizing the early symptoms of a heart attack can be life-saving.
There are a few signs that you or a loved one might be in the early stages of a heart attack. If you are experiencing these symptoms or notice them in someone else, call 911 immediately.
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
- Discomfort in the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach
An important thing to remember is that the symptoms of a heart attack will most likely present differently in men and women. While men are most likely to have chest pain, the most common symptom associated with a heart attack, women are more likely to feel pain in their upper body and experience shortness of breath. Make sure not to rule out these symptoms when thinking about yourself or a loved one.
If you or somebody you do know has experienced a heart attack recently, cardiac rehabilitation is one of the best ways to recover. Cardiac rehabilitation is a structured program that combines supervised exercise, education, and psychological counseling.
Its benefits include decreased risk of heart attack recurrence, better medication adherence, and reduced risk of death. Ask your doctor about cardiac rehabilitation programs after cardiac surgery or heart attack.
Click here to learn more about how to spot the warning signs of a heart attack.