If you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, it is essential to ring 999 and get medical help immediately. Any delay puts you at a higher risk of suffering serious heart damage and makes you more likely to need intensive care or stay for longer in hospital. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack is important in order to protect yourself and others. Express.co.uk reveals the two less common symptoms of a heart attack that most people ignore.
Heart attacks happen when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of the heart muscle.
Without enough blood and oxygen, your heart can be seriously damaged and it can be life-threatening.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks, followed by drug misuse and hypoxia.
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The symptoms of a heart attack vary from person to person.
The pain levels experienced can also vary, with some people experiencing severe pain or tightness in the chest and others feeling an uncomfortable pain similar to indigestion.
Symptoms can come on suddenly and unexpectedly or build and persist over a few days.
The most common symptoms can include:
- pain or discomfort in your chest that happens suddenly and doesn’t go away
- pain that spreads to your left or right arm, or to your neck, jaw, back or stomach. For some people, the pain or tightness is severe, while for others it’s uncomfortable. It may feel like heaviness, or a burning pain similar to indigestion
- feeling sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath.
The British Heart Foundation warned: “It’s possible to have a heart attack without experiencing all these symptoms, and it’s important to remember everyone experiences pain differently.
“This is common in the elderly or people with diabetes, as the condition can cause nerve damage which affects how you feel pain.”
Women are more likely to dismiss the idea that they are having a heart attack and delay seeking medical attention.
The BHF states: “It’s a common misconception that men and women experience different symptoms when having a heart attack.
“While symptoms vary from person to person, there are no symptoms that women experience more or less often than men.
It’s important to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack, take them seriously and act quickly to prevent damaging the heart muscle.”
If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack you must dial 999 immediately, the BHF and NHS warn.
The site says: “Don’t worry if you’re not completely sure whether your symptoms are a heart attack, it’s really important that you seek medical attention regardless as quickly as possible.
“Next, you should sit down and rest, take a 300mg aspirin if you have one within arm’s reach, and stay calm and wait for the paramedics.
“People often dismiss that they’re having a heart attack and will delay seeking medical attention.
“If you’re with someone who’s experiencing heart attack symptoms but they’re putting off or refusing to call an ambulance, it’s really important that you call one for them.”