One of the most common symptoms of a heart attack is pain or tightness in the chest. However, many people do not experience this symptom at all.
Additional symptoms can easily be mistaken for some other illness or disease.
At some point or other in their lives, every person will likely experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue.
These symptoms can be caused by anything from over-exertion to pneumonia. But they can also be heart attack symptoms.
Unfortunately, since these symptoms can be from such a wide array of causes, most people tend to ignore them or treat them with over-the-counter medications that have nothing to do with heart problems.
If you have heart problems, you should contact a heart specialist before pursuing your own treatment.
Significant Symptoms Are Ignored
Other very common symptoms that are either misinterpreted or ignored include dizziness, back pain, sweating, nausea, and stomach pain.
You may feel silly or embarrassed about seeing your doctor over what feels like indigestion, but it could save your life.
The most important factors involved in determining whether what you feel is a heart attack symptom or some harmless condition is the length of time the discomfort lasts, the severity of the pain, and the frequency.
Of course, heartburn, fatigue, and stomach pain can last for more than a day or two, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
How To Handle A Heart Attack?
Symptoms of heart attack are not always as dramatic in real life as they are in the movies. A person may be having a heart attack right in front of you, and you might not even notice at first.
If they don’t grab their chest or seem to be having trouble breathing, then they might start slurring their words or speaking incoherently.
When this happens, try to get the person to describe what he is feeling. If they can’t, then lay them flat on their back and place something under their neck, tilting it back slightly to open the airway – a bag of frozen peas works well.
You can skip this step if you are trained in CPR. If you have CPR training, then follow the procedure you learned.
Call for help right away. Even if you have administered CPR, the person has to get to a hospital as quickly as possible.
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Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS)
Many malls and other public places are beginning to have Automated External Defibrillators (AED) on hand. If you are in such a location when someone is having a heart attack, lay the person flat on his back and get the mall security officer.
He will know where the AED is kept, and which person is trained to use the device. In the meantime, call an ambulance or your local emergency response unit.
In some cases, people mistake a heart attack for a seizure or stroke. Look into the person’s eyes. If they look present, the person is definitely having a heart attack. But, if the eyes are glazed, the person is likely having some type of neurological spasm.
Unfortunately, there is not much more you can do to help the victim. Just try to comfort them until the emergency response team arrives.
After the attack, the person will likely be unresponsive. If you are alone with the victim, check for a pulse. If you can’t find a pulse, then you must start CPR right away to get the heart beating and blood oxygen flowing.
Civilians administering CPR until help arrives is often the only reason a person survives an attack.
Heart Attack Symptoms differ among the individuals?
Heart attack symptoms are not the same for everyone.
While one person may not feel any chest discomfort, another may have excruciating pain in their chest.
If all heart attacks were the same, it would be much easier to identify the symptoms and to get help in time to save more lives.
Unfortunately, some symptoms can be so subtle that many people ignore them or brush them off as some harmless condition.
If you suspect someone is showing symptoms of a heart attack, get them to a hospital as soon as possible.
Even if the symptoms seem very mild and the person insists he is fine, the attack can still be very severe.
This type of attack is called a silent heart attack and is just as deadly as one with noticeable symptoms.