What is a heart attack?
A heart attack occurs when there is an inadequate amount of blood flow to the heart, which leads to death or damage to the heart muscle. Inadequate blood flow to the heart is caused by plaque buildup that narrows the coronary arteries. This process is known as atherosclerosis. A heart attack occurs when a clot forms and fully or partially blocks blood flow to the heart.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
It is important to note that symptoms of a heart attack may vary from patient to patient. Research has shown that women experience different heart attack symptoms than men. Some patients may experience a plethora of symptoms or warning signs. While other patients may experience no symptoms or warning signs. Unfortunately, some heart attacks can occur suddenly and with no warning. However, some patients may experience warning signs in advance.
Common symptoms of a heart attack may include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold sweat
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating profusely
- Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms: patients may also experience these sensations in the neck, jaw, or back.
Symptoms of heart attacks should be addressed immediately. The longer a heart attack is left untreated, the more likely patients will experience serious complications.
Are you at risk for a heart attack?
Certain factors can contribute to your chance of experiencing a heart attack. Your physician will discuss the risk factors during your evaluation. In some cases, patients can work with their physicians to find ways to lower their risk of a heart attack.
Risk factors for heart attacks may include:
- Tobacco use
- Lack of exercise
- High Blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels
- Drug use
- A family history of heart attack
How are heart attacks diagnosed?
Diagnostic testing helps your Buckeye Heart & Vascular physician know if a heart attack has occurred. Testing will give us a grasp of how much damage your heart tissue sustained as well. Testing can also help indicate the underlying cause of a heart attack.
Diagnostic testing for heart attack also helps your vascular doctor determine the next course of action for your heart health. Patients may undergo a series of invasive and non-invasive testing to determine what treatment is needed and how to prevent further damage to the heart.
How is a heart attack treated in Ohio?
The type of treatment a patient receives will depend on various factors. Since no two people are alike, there is no single treatment that we can recommend for everyone. It is with great individual care and patient-focused treatments that we are able to effectively treat our patients. A physician will perform a series of tests and determine which treatment best improves your quality of life and reduces your risk of further damage to your heart muscle.
Conventional treatments for heart attack may include— angioplasty, valve surgery, ablation, stent placement, bypass surgery, transplant surgery, and implantable medical devices. Never diagnose yourself without consulting a medical professional at Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute.
What are the most common heart attack signs and symptoms?
The most common symptom patients have before they have a heart attack is chest pain, pressure, and discomfort around their chest. Shortness of breath, vomiting, arm and back pain, weakness, and lightheadedness are all also commonly reported heart attack signs. If you are or have experienced these symptoms frequently tell your doctor.
How long will I need to rest after having a heart attack?
After a heart attack, one of the most important things to do is to rest, however, it is just as crucial to get some cardiovascular exercise. Oftentimes doctors recommend that survivors maintain a more physical lifestyle after the heart attack. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule and active schedule is very important post-heart attack. Patients are encouraged to take naps throughout the day if they are tired, but it is important to remember that being physically active is just as important as rest.
Can you live a long life after a heart attack?
After a patient suffers from a heart attack they still have the potential to live a long and active life. It is common for patients to have repeat heart attacks. That is why it is important to stay active and keep up with one’s cardiovascular health after one’s first heart attack.
Visit Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute
Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute offers diagnostic testing and comprehensive patient care. Our team can work with patients to help them better understand their diagnosis and treatment options. To learn more, call 937-203-8602 or request an appointment online.