Symptoms of a silent heart attack: Things you must know
A heart attack is one of the most dreadful health conditions that can affect anyone. Unfortunately, heart diseases or disorders related to blood vessels and arteries (cardiovascular) are on the rise, leading to an increased cases of heart attacks.
It is true that many lives can be saved if people are aware of the true nature of this serious health condition. People must understand that it is not just conventional symptoms that serve as warning signs and possible precursors to a heart attack. There are other symptoms that may go unnoticed if you do not pay attention to your body.
What exactly happens during a heart attack?
A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked due to clogged arteries that supply blood to the cardiac muscles. This damages or destructs a part of the heart muscles, which causes the person to collapse or triggers an extreme feeling of discomfort.
The inability of the arteries to provide a constant supply of oxygen, thus, hinders the proper functioning of the heart and results in chest pain, which may lead to a heart attack.
Typically, a heart attack may strike a person without any warning. But in most cases, it is preceded by a few traditional symptoms. The most common symptom is chest pain and its variations such as squeezing and tightening sensation are also believed to be a symptom. At times, a feeling of pressure in the chest also counts as an indication.
Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath after doing some physical activity such as running or climbing stairs can also be a sign of a heart attack. In addition, lack of energy or fatigue serves as a warning as well.
Silent heart attack vs. traditional heart attack symptoms
A silent heart attack may have different symptoms that are normally not associated with a traditional heart attack. People may be at a risk of a silent heart attack even when they do not observe or experience any of the common heart attack symptoms.
In fact, it is estimated that silent heart attacks are quite common in both men and women and a majority of them may even go completely unnoticed.
Some of the symptoms of a silent heart attack that differ from the usual chest pain and shortness of breath include:
- Heartburn or belching: An ordinary heartburn is not a concern. But if it is something abnormal, such as unexpected or unreasonable occurrence, then it warrants proper medical attention. Chest pain may be camouflaged in the form of heartburn in case of a silent heart attack and needs to be taken seriously.
- Pain in the back and arms: Sudden and noticeable occurrence of pain in these body parts may be a sign of a silent heart attack. When the blood supply is reduced to the heart because of clogged artery, it begins to send pain signals through the nerves. This may trigger the brain to confuse it with normal pain.
- Dizziness: Losing balance or fainting without any reason may be a sign of heart attack. If this is accompanied by discomfort in the chest, you should consult a cardiologist.
- Snoring: Loud snoring with interruptions in breathing is not normal. It can be a sign of sleep apnea, which can result in heart attack.
- Upset stomach: Stomach problems such as vomiting, nausea, indigestion and stomach pain may be related to a silent heart attack, especially in women.
- Throat, neck or jaw pain: Discomfort or pain in throat, neck or jaw may be a silent heart attack sign if it occurs without any reason.
- An unexplained feeling of anxiety or depression: If you feel depressed or gloomy for no reason or experience a nagging feeling of doom, you may have experienced a silent heart attack.
In case you experience any unusual symptoms, make sure that you visit a doctor. Do not be your own physician no matter how subtle the symptoms may seem. The discomfort may last for a few minutes. However, if the symptoms seem unusual, new and occur without any reason, you are advised not to ignore any of it and get in touch with your doctor.