When it comes to heart attacks, every second matters. Recognizing the early signs can be the difference between life and death. If you’re armed with the knowledge of what a heart attack looks like, you can seek medical help promptly and save a life—possibly your own.

Understanding Heart Attacks

A heart attack occurs when blood flow, bringing oxygen to the heart muscle, is severely reduced or cut off completely. This usually happens because the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly become narrower from a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, creating plaque.

Chest Pain Or Discomfort

The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort, experienced as a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the center of the chest. This discomfort may last several minutes or come and go.

Pain In The Arms, Back, Neck, Or Jaw

Heart attack pain can radiate beyond your chest to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth, or jaw, says Dr Arun Arora Flushing NY. You may feel a sensation of discomfort that starts in your chest and moves outward. It’s also noteworthy that, especially in women, heart attacks may occur without chest pain.

Shortness Of Breath

You might find yourself panting or being unable to draw a deep breath. This symptom can occur before any chest discomfort and may even accompany it.

Cold Sweat

Breaking out in a cold, clammy sweat is a common symptom among heart attack victims, says Dr Arun Arora Flushing NY. The sweat may be profuse, making you feel like you’re in a heavy workout session.

If you’re having a heart attack, your body will use its blood supply to try to heal itself. You may feel lightheaded or dizzy as well as have cold sweats on your upper body.

Sudden Dizziness Or Loss Of Consciousness

Feeling light-headed, faint, or a sudden loss of consciousness could signal a heart attack. This might happen alongside other symptoms such as chest discomfort or shortness of breath.

What To Do If You Suspect A Heart Attack

If you or someone else is showing signs of a heart attack, act immediately, says Dr Arun Arora Flushing NY:

  • Call for Help: Dial your country’s emergency line immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital unless you have no other options.
  • Chew an Aspirin: Unless you’re allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor never to take aspirin, chew and swallow an aspirin to reduce heart damage.
  • Stay Calm: Try to stay calm and sit down to prevent a fall if you faint.

Importance Of Awareness

Early recognition of a heart attack can lead to better outcomes. Education and awareness can strive toward reducing heart attack mortality. Talk about heart attack warning symptoms with your friends and family. Share this information. One day, it may save someone’s life.

Remember, heart attacks can be managed and even prevented with lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, and managing stress. Regular medical check-ups are also imperative. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.