What Does a Heart Attack Feel Like?
The first time anyone has a heart attack, they probably have no idea what they're actually experiencing.
After all, you don't know what a heart attack feels like until you have one, and by then, it can be too late to know what you're dealing with. There are a number of warning signs, though, that can indicate a heart attack. If you start feeling any of these signs, it's best to immediately contact help. Don't wait around until you're certain that you're having a heart attack. By then, you may not be able to contact help, or you may have already suffered irreparable damage.
Signs of a Heart Attack
- You may feel fullness, pain, or pressure in the centre of your chest that lasts for more than two or three minutes.
- Pain in your neck, arms, or shoulders, especially rapidly spreading pain. It may start out as somewhat mild, but it will grow. It can be burning, pressure, or a tightness of your muscles and it can move from your chest to your abdomen, jaw, arms, shoulders, or neck.
- Light-headedness or fainting.
- Shortness of breath.
- Sweating or cold, clammy skin.
- Anxiety or feelings of something horrible happening.
- Irregular heart rate.
Note that not everyone is going to experience all of these symptoms, and the symptoms may come and go. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, again, it is best to get professional help. You don't want to wait for more severe symptoms to occur, especially since they can leave you incapacitated and unable to get assistance.
Is it Really a Heart Attack?
Some people find themselves feeling tightness in their chest while exercising or exerting themselves. Angina, or pain of the heart, is very rarely the sharp pain that we associate with something horrible. Instead, it slowly builds up, and it often goes away once you stop performing exhausting tasks. This is why many ignore this tightness, which is one of the warning signs that they have a blocked artery. Just because the pain isn't severe or doesn't last long doesn't mean it can be ignored. This pain means your heart isn't getting enough oxygen to function as it should, and it leads to a heart attack. Dealing with the blockage early can save you from permanent damage. The first couple of hours after a heart attack are the most vital-if the arteries can be cleared out and oxygen flow restored, you won't suffer much permanent damage.
Never ignore the warning signs of a heart attack, and never ignore any tightness in your chest. Just because the pain goes away or doesn't seem to be that bad doesn't mean it's not serious. The quicker you can deal with a heart attack, the better off you will be, so don't delay: go and get professional help immediately if you think you're experiencing any of the symptoms of a heart attack.