What it’s Like to Experience a Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. This blockage can be due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances which get deposited as plaques in the arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels which bring blood to the heart. This clotting interrupts blood flow and causes damage to part of your heart muscle.
Other times, this blockage initiates somewhere else, but the plaque tears off from its original location and lodges in the capillaries of the heart or elsewhere, causing a blood blockage.
A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, can be fatal for patients. Today, deaths due to a heart attack are significantly reduced due to the advancements in treatment and medical care in general.
About every 40 seconds, a person in America has a heart attack. Every year 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. That’s an incredibly large number when you think about it. So what, how do we stop this from happening?
Suffering from a heart attack can be a very traumatic thing, not only for you but for your loved ones as well. From the fear of not knowing what’s happening to finally realizing you’re undergoing a heart attack, there can be an all-consuming fear. Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help you.
We at Abudo believe that AWARENESS is crucial and may save your life. A heart attack can be prevented. So, before we talk about signs and symptoms, let’s talk about how you can work to prevent it from happening.
There are several things you can do, which will help reduce the risk of a heart attack in the future:
- Opt for regular heart health screenings.
- Stop smoking! Minimize second-hand smoking as well. The further from smoking you are, the better off
- Manage your blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes by modifying your diet, losing weight, taking your medication timely
- Become physically active! Partake in heart friendly sports and exercises
- Manage your stress, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and therapy
- Limit the amount of alcohol you consume
- Change your lifestyle and your diet into one that’s healthier. Have a balanced diet, rich with a variety of vitamins and minerals
Generally, a heart attack causes chest pain for more than 15 minutes, but it can also have no symptoms at all. So, being aware of the symptoms other than chest pains is incredibly essential. Many people who experience a heart attack may have warning signs, house, days, or even weeks in advance.
About 90% of people that suffer from heart attacks experience the general symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Uncomfortable pressure or pain in the center of your chest
- Discomfort spreading beyond the chest, one or both arms, occasionally the upper abdomen
- Shortness of breath
Let’s say you’re experiencing some or all of these symptoms, you’re experiencing a heart attack, but no one is around to help you.
So, what to do when having you are all alone during a heart attack?
You can perform a heart attack first aid on yourself. The do’s and don’ts when having a heart attack are:
- The first thing you need to do is call 911. Do not attempt to ignore the symptoms or try to tough it out. If you don’t have access to emergency medical services, you can have a neighbor or a friend to drive you to the nearest hospital
- If you’ve called 911, unlock your front door, get into a comfortable sitting position and try to remain calm while taking in deep breaths
- Chew and swallow an aspirin (unless you’re allergic)
- Take off any tight clothing that makes you feel restricted
- Do not take nitroglycerine unless you’ve been prescribed it for heart management.
- Do not cough repeatedly, this self-administered treatment is only an urban legend and does not help
- Don’t apply pressure to your chest. This doesn’t help the heart to beat faster.
Remember, you need to put time on your side. If you react timely, you can make it to the hospital in time, and possibly save your own life! The longer you wait to get help, the more damage occurs to the heart muscle and the less the chances of survival. Many people die by the time they get to the hospital, mostly because they weren’t quick enough to respond to their symptoms, or they decided to tough it out.
While traumatizing, you can survive a heart attack. Just be AWARE of the symptoms of heart attack and know what you need to do if you ever experience it.
Kickstart a healthy living today!