Heart attack symptoms you should never ignore

When every minute counts, it’s important to know the signs of a heart attack so you can act quickly.

Heart attack signs to never ignore

In Australia, someone has a heart attack every 10 minutes. With advances in medicine, however, that’s no longer a death sentence – in fact, most people aged over 65 in Australia are living with some form of long-term cardiovascular disease. When it comes to a heart attack, the faster you can get treatment, the better your outcome is likely to be. When every minute counts, it’s important to know the signs of a heart attack so you can act quickly.

Chest pain
Not all heart attacks start with chest pain, but it is the most common sign of a heart attack. What you may not realise is that it’s not always a sudden, overwhelming pain. It may feel more uncomfortable than painful, and some people describe it as a squeezing or heavy sensation, not unlike heartburn. It may not be constant, either – be wary if pain like this goes away and comes back, or lasts more than a few minutes.

Arm pain
Men typically experience pain or heaviness more strongly on the left side, while women may feel it in both arms.

Back pain
Pain may start in your chest and then move to your upper or lower back. When it comes to back pain and heart attack, be wary of pain that doesn’t seem to be linked to a particular muscle, or that comes out of nowhere – it may even wake you up at night.

Jaw pain
You may experience pain or tightness in one or both sides of your jaw.

Neck pain
You may experience an aching pain in the neck, or it may feel more like a choking or burning feeling in your throat.

Nausea and loss of appetite can be signs that something is wrong with your heart. Nausea, in particular, is a sign of heart attack that women often experience and choose to ignore.

When it comes to heart attack and fatigue, look out for unusual fatigue, or feeling tired at times when you normally wouldn’t. This can mean anything from feeling unusually exhausted after your normal walk or trip to the gym, to feeling worn out after a trip to the bathroom. Heart-related fatigue may leave you feeling wiped out, while also having trouble sleeping.

Breaking out in a cold, clammy sweat even though you’re not pushing yourself hard can indicate that your heart is having trouble pumping.

Trouble breathing
No matter what the cause is, if you are ever experiencing difficulty breathing you should call an ambulance right away. It may be a sign of a heart attack, or a multitude of other serious conditions.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call 000 and request an ambulance. It is important not to drive yourself or someone else to the hospital in these instances. If you have further heart trouble on the way, an ambulance is equipped to keep you alive. Your taxi driver is not. It’s also important to think of others – in the event that your heart troubles worsened while you’re behind the wheel, you run the risk of hurting someone else.

If there is even a possibility that you may be having a heart attack, don’t just brush it off or ‘let it pass’. The sooner you get medical help, the better. It might just save your life.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    28th Jun 2018
    I woke up and just didn't feel my usual self. I had an ache in my chest. No pain in arm or jaw or anywhere else. During the next hour the ache became a pain and truly like an elephant sitting on my chest. Could hardy breathe. Luckily I was in my car outside a medical clinic. Struggled inside and they called the MICA. 7 bypasses and almost 4 years later and I'm back to myself. Don't ignore those aches that feel like they are worsening. The earlier you have help the more chance you have to get through it alive.
    28th Jun 2018
    Muscular aches and pains in chest can be a sign of heart symptoms. A good neighbour just passed away due to a heart attack. Had the ache in the chest. She did not feel right Please any ache or pain no matter how slight please ring an ambulance. It may save your life
    Old Geezer
    28th Jun 2018
    I thought they were all the symptoms of old age.
    28th Jun 2018
    I have had 3 now.

    They all begin with a strange sort of numb, sort of painful tingling in my hands. I have also felt bilious, but have never had chest pain.

    Make sure the specialist & your GP are on the same wave length. My doctor kept taking me off a cholesterol drug, because I don't have high cholesterol.

    What he didn't know was that it was prescribed by the specialist as it consolidates the plaque in your arteries. After 3 heart attacks in 3 years, despite a stent installed, with that medication, no more in 8 years.
    8th Jul 2018
    Plant based diet reverses heart disease.

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