Heart Attack Warning Signs

Heart attacks may come suddenly to anyone. But such attacks usually come with certain warning signs. Since older people are at an increased risk of having heart attacks, they should know about the warning signs of an impending heart attach.

Having an idea of what the warning signs are may just be able to help them get immediate and timely treatment if such an attack is being suspected.

In treating heart attacks, timing is crucial. The earlier the heart attack is treated, the better the chances of surviving one. This is where knowing the different heart attack warning signs can be of good use. Here are some of the most common warning signs of a heart attack.

Chest Discomfort

Most heart attacks occur with the person experiencing some discomfort in the chest area that can last for more than five minutes. The discomfort may include some unusual chest tightness or squeezing, feeling of fullness or pain. The discomfort may also last for a few minutes then goes away and then comes back.

Discomfort in Upper Body

If the chest discomfort gives way to discomfort in other parts of the upper body, it may indicate a heart attack. The pain or discomfort may initially start from the chest and then radiate to other parts of the body which may include the neck, some discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, back or stomach.

Shortness of Breath

If the discomfort felt on the chest as well as on other parts of the upper body is accompanied by some difficulty in breathing, one might as well suspect an impending heart attack. Sometimes, a shortness of breath may also occur before any chest discomfort may be experienced.

Other signs

There are also other signs that may show up when a heart attack occurs. Aside from the major warning signs, victims of a heart attack may also experience some lightheadedness and sweating. Nausea and fainting may also be experienced by some people having heart attacks.

In addition, palpitations, cold sweats, as well as unexplained tiredness and anxiety may also be considered as some of the warning signs of an impending heart attack, especially if they come with the other major warning signs.

It also seems that the warning signs of an impending heart attack may be different from those experienced by women. Although the above warning signs may apply generally to men, women victims of heart attacks may also experience the warning signs although at times they are more likely to feel symptoms of lightheadedness, sweating and an upset stomach more than men do.

Instead of some chest discomfort, most women would feel a burning sensation in their upper abdomen rather than on the chest area as early signs of a heart attack. The absence of the typical chest pain especially in the left side area in women can sometimes lead them to believe that they are not having a heart attack. But if such signs do occur, an impending heart attack should be considered and it is important to seek immediate medical help.


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