Written By: Jossef Amirian, M.D.
A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, can present in various ways among different individuals.
The classic presentation is often an acute onset of left-sided chest pain which is often associated with diaphoresis, shortness of breath and/or fatigue. However, patients often present with symptoms that do not fit this picture and the general public should be aware of the various signs or symptoms of a heart attack so that they may seek medical attention and get the help they need.
One may complain of chest pain often described as a pressure or a tightness. Others may describe an aching or squeezing sensation in the chest. Symptoms are not limited to the chest and are often in the arm or spreading to the neck, jaw or back.
Patients may present with heartburn, nausea or abdominal pain, while others present with indigestion and as a result, often heart attacks go undiagnosed and untreated as many individuals mistakenly feel that their symptoms are strictly gastrointestinal in origin.
Lightheadedness and dizziness are other potential presenting complaints of patients having a heart attack and should not be ignored.
The key is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you or a loved one appear to be having signs or symptoms of a heart attack, you should call emergency medical services right away so that the appropriate care and potentially life-saving treatments can be provided.
Early detection leads to better prevention. Therefore, getting these early signs of a heart attack diagnosed will reduce your chances of getting this fatal disease in the future!
Make your heart health your main priority.