Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack
Signs and symptoms of a heart attack are different for every person. Knowing what they are can help.
The signs and symptoms of a heart attack differ for each person. The most common heart attacks begin with mild pain or discomfort in the chest that last for more than a few minutes or that go away and return. It can feel like squeezing, fullness, pain or an uncomfortable pressure. Patients often describe this as feeling "like someone was sitting on their chest." This type of pain can go away and come back.
Signs and symptoms
of a heart attack
Other signs and symptoms of a heart attack can include pain or discomfort in other parts of the body such as the back, arms, neck, stomach or jaw. Nausea, shortness of breath, cold sweats or lightheadedness are also possible signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Women are more likely than men to have back pain, jaw pain, nausea and shortness of breath.
If you’ve already had a heart attack or the signs and symptoms of myocardial infarction, the signs and symptoms of a heart attack experienced may be different this time. The more signs and symptoms that are present, the more likely it is you’re experiencing a heart attack.
When arteries that supply your heart with blood become blocked, a heart attack occurs. If the arteries are narrowed due to a buildup of cholesterol (called plaques), one of these plaques can rupture, causing clots and blocking blood flow. This is a major underlying cause of heart attacks.
If you feel that you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, seek care urgently. If you have Nitroglycerin, take it. Take your Nitroglycerin if you have a prescription for it. It will increase oxygen and blood flow to the heart by relaxing the blood vessels.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can help you identify an oncoming attack.
Be heart smart. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.