Heart Attack

Heart Attack

What is a Heart Attack?

Heart attack is known to be fatal and requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when blood flow to the heart gets blocked for various reasons. Medically known as myocardial infarction, heart attacks restrict the blood flow to the heart, which will result in the damage of heart muscles due to lack of oxygen.

What causes a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries or the blood vessels to the heart get clogged up with fatty deposits such as cholesterol and other substances. These deposits are called plaques.

Plaques can harden and rupture, causing blood clots triggering a heart attack. Another leading cause of heart attacks is when plaques narrow the arteries (atherosclerosis), resulting in coronary artery disease.

Some of the risk factors that lead to a heart attack are:

  • Eating disorders

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Cholesterol

  • Hypertension

  • Family history

  • Lack of physical activity

  • Drug use

Symptoms of Heart Attack

There are various symptoms, and they can differ from each person. Symptoms can vary based on sex, where women will experience different symptoms. Some of the common signs include:

  • Chest pain spreads to other areas like arms, shoulder, neck, jaw, or back.

  • Dizziness

  • Indigestion (like heartburn)

  • Sweating

  • Severe fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Uneven heartbeat

Apart from these, women may experience different symptoms than men. They include:

  • Unusual and sudden fatigue

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Shortness of breath

  • Insomnia

  • Pain in the back, shoulders or abdomen

Diagnosis of Heart Attack

If you experience the symptoms of a heart attack, rush to a hospital or call 911. In addition to checking your blood pressure, temperature and pulse, you may undergo the following diagnosis:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

  • Blood tests

  • Echocardiography

  • Cardiac catheterization

  • Stress testing

  • Chest X-ray

Treatment for Heart Attack

Treatment for heart attack involves helping the heart function properly by restoring the blood flow as soon as possible. The treatment methods may differ according to the type of heart attack and level of emergency. For instance, if you called 911, treatment would begin in the ambulance. There are various medication and surgery methods to treat heart attack, and some of them are

  • Medications and pain relievers

  • Coronary angioplasty

  • Bypass surgery

  • Stent placement

  • Balloon angioplasty

The key to treatment is to undergo cardiac rehabilitation, where the patient can recover entirely through medications and lifestyle changes. You have to focus on keeping your heart healthy and take regular checkups.

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