Heart Attack Symptoms Not Always Obvious
On the silver screen the man having the heart attack clutches his chest, an obvious sign that he is in distress. In real life, the signs and symptoms may be quite different.
In fact, many times, patients do not realize they are having a heart attack. Silent heart attacks tend to happen in diabetics or other patients with neuropathy (disease of the nervous system) or they are seen with atypical presentations, says cardiologist Robert Cross, M.D. The patient has indigestion or shortness of breath and doesn t realize he or she is having a heart attack.
Classic signs of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain
- Pressure (may be associated with nausea)
- Shortness of breath
- Profuse sweating
- Pain radiating to neck, jaw, back or arms
The difference is usually the intensity, duration and frequency, with a classic heart attack having worse symptoms in all categories, Dr. Cross says. If you experience these symptoms, it s important to call 911 and take 325 mg of aspirin.
Dr. Cross and other cardiologists treat heart attack patients with a number of options, ranging from medicine to the insertion of a balloon or stent Or for the most serious cases, bypass surgery. Many patients resume a normal life after a heart attack, while others do not survive.
I am here to help my patients recover, Dr. Cross says. But the best thing is to stay healthy and stay out of my office. The best way to avoid a heart attack is to control risk factors, including blood pressure (hypertension), levels of fats or lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia) and diabetes, and most of all, don t smoke.
Dial 911 At the first signs of chest discomfort, dial 911.
About Half of Fatal Heart Attacks Strike Outside Hospital
Robert C. Cross
Lee Physician Group
1682 NE Pine Island Road
Cape Coral, FL 33909