Following are important heart disease symptoms you need to be aware of. If you are concerned about your situation, talk to your doctor.
If you think you are in danger, call 9-1-1 immediately.*
By calling 9-1-1 you can get lifesaving treatment as soon as emergency medical services arrive. Emergency staff are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. As well, patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital.
If you can't access emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
Heart disease symptoms
Chest discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing or a painful feeling in your chest are all symptoms of heart disease. Sometimes these symptoms be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. The proper name for this is angina. While angina is usually felt in the chest, it may be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw or back.
Other heart disease symptoms include:
Heart attack symptoms
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense but for many, heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort.
Here are signs that a heart attack might be happening:
During a heart attack, symptoms typically last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or medication. Initially, symptoms can start as mild discomfort, then progress to significant pain. Symptoms may go away and come back.
Read Dan's story of how listening to his body (and his wife) saved his life.
In some cases, people can have a heart attack without having any symptoms. This occurs more often among diabetics.
If you think you might be having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.The sooner you get help the better the chances are for recovery.
Men versus women?
Similar to men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But many women experience other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. It may be discomfort or pressure in the back or between the shoulder blades. For some women, the symptoms are extremely vague, which makes it difficult to assess what's really happening.
If you're not sure it's a heart attack - err on the safe side and check it out. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.
Signs of cardiac arrest include sudden loss of responsiveness and normal breathing.
If the signs of cardiac arrest are present, tell someone to call 9-1-1, get an automated defibrillator (if one is available), and begin CPR immediately.
If you are alone with an adult who has signs of cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 and begin CPR.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of arrhythmia. Most people with AF experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Some patients with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms.
A heart murmur may also be an indication of problems with the functioning of your valves.
If valve disease causes heart failure, symptoms may include swelling of your ankles, feet, or abdomen. Swelling may also occur in your belly, causing you to feel bloated. You could also experience a weight gain of two or three pounds in one day.
Symptoms do not always relate to the seriousness of your valve disease. You may have no symptoms and have severe valve disease requiring treatment. Or, you may have severe symptoms, yet tests may show minor valve disease.
MANY OF THESE HEART DISEASE SYMPTOMS SOUND THE SAME
If you have concerns about any of these heart disease symptoms, talk to your doctor. If you think you are in trouble, call 9-1-1 NOW. Don't take chances. You are better safe than sorry.