Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
How do you know?
Many people think a heart attack is sudden and intense, like a "movie" heart attack, where a person clutches his or her chest and falls over. And yet, most are not like that at all.
What are the signs of a heart attack? Many people think a heart attack is sudden and intense, like a "movie" heart attack, where a person clutches his or her chest and falls over.
The truth is that many heart attacks start slowly, as a mild pain or discomfort. If you feel such a symptom, you may not be sure what's wrong. Your symptoms may even come and go. Even those who have had a heart attack may not recognize their symptoms, because the next attack can have entirely different ones.
Women may not think they're at risk of having a heart attack–but they are. Learn more about women and heart attack.
It's vital that everyone learn the warning signs of a heart attack. These are:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.
- Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.
Learn the signs–but also remember: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, you should still have it checked out. Fast action can save lives-maybe your own.
Treatment & Care
Lee Memorial Health System offers many surgical and medical procedures
for heart and vascular conditions.