What would you do if you feel a little anxious and a tight feeling in your chest? Take some painkillers and get on with your day? Or do you go to bed and hope it goes away?
Many of us would choose one of these paths, but we may actually be putting our lives and health at risk. Because these two things are classic but little known signs of a heart attack and need urgent medical attention.
Unfortunately, many of us think that the symptoms of a seizure are a sudden, violent stabbing pain in the chest, followed by a collapse and loss of consciousness. But we would be wrong. Because while these are common indicators of a cardiac arrest – when the heart stops suddenly – they are rarely signs of a heart attack (blockage of blood in this vital organ).
Which means that many of us do not realize that we are very sick and fail to get help by immediately calling an ambulance.
It's a big problem in England. Currently around 80,000 people are admitted to hospital with the condition each year and at least seven in 10 survive. But that could increase to a massive 94 percent if more of us go to the hospital right away and get the right treatment.
So what are the signs of a heart attack?
What are the symptoms?
While the most common symptom is chest pain, it can vary from person to person. Some people may have other symptoms such as shortness of breath, feeling or being sick, and back or jaw pain without chest pain. Symptoms to watch out for include:
◼ Chest pain – a feeling of pressure, heaviness, or tightness throughout the chest
◼ Feeling shaky or dizzy
◼ Shortness of breath
◼ You feel or are sick
◼ Coughing or wheezing
◼ Feeling anxious similar to a panic attack
◼ There may be pain in other parts of the body, with or without chest pain. Areas to take special care of include the jawline, neck, back and upper abdomen.
◼ It may also feel like the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms, especially the left, although the right can also be affected.
Anyone can suffer
Heart and circulatory disease, also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD), causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK each year, and in some areas is the biggest cause of premature death.
The milder the signs, the more likely someone is to dismiss them as nothing, or wait until they get worse, especially if they don't see themselves as someone who might be having a heart attack.
Because while it can happen to absolutely anyone – even the young, fit, prime of life – many believe it's only the overweight, smokers, drinkers and drug addicts who suffer. This, in turn, can create a stigma that stops people from seeking help.
A healthy diet and lifestyle choices, routine blood pressure and cholesterol checks and maintaining a healthy weight are among the preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of heart disease./Daily Mail/