April 10, 2014

How Do You Know You're Having A Heart Attack?

How heart attacks develop

Heart attacks are a leading killer of men and women in the United States. They occur when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked. Typically,  coronary artery disease involves a buildup of plaque inside the arteries over time, and when an area of plaque breaks open, a blood clot forms that can block blood flow in the artery. If the blockage isn't treated quickly, the portion of heart muscle fed by the artery begins to die. Treatment works best at the earliest sign of symptoms to limit damage to the heart.

Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that often lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, or fullness and can be mild or severe. It can feel like nausea or heartburn.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with o before chest discomfort.
  • Nausea, vomiting, light-headedness or sudden dizziness, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Sleep problems, fatigue, or lack of energy.
    Signs and symptoms can develop suddenly or sometimes slowly (over hours, days or weeks) and quick treatment is the key to the best recovery.

    Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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