What Are The Symptoms of Heart Attack?

The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person, and they can also differ between men and women. It’s important to note that some people may experience a sudden, intense chest pain, while others may have milder symptoms or different warning signs. Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest Pain or Discomfort: This is the most common symptom. It often feels like a heavy, squeezing, or crushing pain in the center or left side of the chest. Some people describe it as an uncomfortable pressure or fullness.
  • Pain Radiating to the Arm(s): The chest pain can sometimes radiate to the left arm, but it can also affect both arms, the neck, jaw, shoulder, or back.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling like you can’t catch your breath can be a sign of a heart attack.
  • Nausea or Vomiting: Some people may feel nauseated or vomit during a heart attack.
  • Cold Sweat: Profuse sweating, often described as a cold sweat, can accompany a heart attack.
  • Lightheadedness or Dizziness: Feeling dizzy or lightheaded can be a symptom.
  • Fatigue: Unusual or extreme tiredness, sometimes lasting for days, can be a warning sign.
  • Indigestion or Heartburn: Some people mistake heart attack symptoms for indigestion or heartburn.
  • Anxiety: A sense of impending doom or extreme anxiety can occur.
  • Cough: In some cases, a persistent cough can be a symptom, especially in women.

It’s important to remember that not all heart attacks present with these classic symptoms, and some individuals, especially women, the elderly, and people with diabetes, may experience atypical symptoms or have no symptoms at all, which is sometimes referred to as a “silent” heart attack.

If you or someone you’re with experiences symptoms that you suspect might be a heart attack, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention by calling emergency services (e.g., 911 in the United States) or going to the nearest emergency room. Prompt treatment can significantly improve the chances of survival and reduce the risk of long-term heart damage.