Heart Attack – Signs, Causes, and Treatments
A heart attack happens when there’s a blockage in the heart and tissue damage occurs due to lack of oxygen. Your heart is a strong muscle, built to pump blood through your body without pause. When a blood supply loss occurs, however, sections of this muscle start to die off. When this happens, you may suffer a heart attack as the muscle experiences unstable electrical currents through its tissues. As soon as the warning signs of a heart attack appear, you must seek immediate medical care for help repairing the damage and restoring the function of your heart.
For most people, intermittent squeezing pressure in the upper chest is the first warning sign of a heart attack. The pain may spread down the arms and torso or move upward toward the neck and jaw.
Other common heart attack warning signs include:
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Sense of impending doom
These symptoms do not usually resolve from changing positions or taking any other at-home care measures. You must come in for an evaluation and treatment by a heart doc NYC to halt the damage to your heart and work toward a full recovery.
Heart attacks are typically the result of years or decades of damage from unhealthy lifestyle choices, genetics or environmental factors. Maintaining an unhealthy diet, using tobacco and leaving serious health conditions, like diabetes, uncontrolled can all accelerate the damage that leads to a heart attack.
The problem usually starts as atherosclerosis, which presents as hardening of the arteries and plaque buildup through the channels. This condition slows, and then fully blocks, blood flow to and from the heart, causing parts of the muscle to atrophy and die.
Heart attacks begin soon after, as the muscle tissues struggle to compensate for the damage and function normally. Therefore, it is important to head to the hospital as soon as chest pain begins to receive a full workup and hopefully rule out heart problems.
Heart Attack Treatments
When you arrive at the hospital with heart attack symptoms, your cardiologist will perform an electrocardiogram and blood tests to confirm this diagnosis. You may need to undergo surgery to have the blockages in your heart and arteries removed by an experienced cardiologist.
Your surgeon may remove the blockages using angioplasty techniques or through the placement of a stent. Throughout the treatment process, your care team will monitor your vitals and ensure you are recovering at the expected rate. The thorough care you receive from your team of cardiologists and nurses helps to prevent further complications, including ventricular fibrillation, pericarditis and total heart failure.
Even after acquiring treatment for the heart attack, you will need continual monitoring by a skilled cardiologist. The amount and type of monitoring you will need depends on the level of heart damage sustained during the attack. You may need to have troponin and ECG tests performed to assess the condition of your heart before starting the monitoring process.
The monitoring helps ensure that your heart bounces back from the damage and resumes its normal, healthy functions. Your cardiologist will not only watch your blood pressure, heart rhythm and cholesterol, but also keep a close eye on your blood sugar. Your heart surgeon will also monitor for any signs of complications and offer treatment options for any issues that may occur. By creating a solid monitoring plan, and sticking to it, you give yourself a better chance at preventing subsequent heart attacks in the future.
Acquiring Care from a Skilled and Experienced Cardiologist
The best treatment outcomes for heart attacks occur within just 90 minutes of the attack symptoms starting. Therefore, if you notice signs of a heart attack, head to the nearest hospital immediately. Our clinic offers acute and follow-up care for heart patients across the greater Manhattan region. You can book an appointment with our team by navigating to our online scheduling form or calling us at 212-906-7798.