Surprising Signs of a Heart Attack

Many signs and symptoms of a heart attack aren’t obvious. Learn to recognize them before a heart attack strikes. It could save your life.

Did you know that pain in your jaw could indicate a heart attack? Knowing the unexpected signs is an important part of being proactive about your health. Remember that women and men suffer heart attacks in different ways, as well as diabetics. Check out these unexpected signs:

Nausea, indigestion or heartburn. If you feel sick to your stomach without obvious cause, take note. When the arteries around the heart are blocked, nerves experience pain and send out warning signals. Women experience this sign more often than men.

Pain in the head or neck. The jaw, ear, earlobe and the face itself are interconnected. The beginnings of a heart attack trigger the Arnold nerve, located near the ear and face. Instead of a sharp pain in one spot, the discomfort radiates in a line and resembles tightness, squeezing or pressure. Sometimes the pain subsides, leading the patient to dismiss it, even though a heart attack is about to occur.

Difficulty breathing, sudden sweating, sudden paleness or unusual fatigue. Do you feel sick, exhausted or breathless? The Women’s Heart Foundation explains that many women believe they simply have a bad case of the flu. Disturbed sleep, cold sweats or the need to rest frequently are red flags. Consult a physician immediately.

Unusual anxiety. Again more common in women, what feels like a panic attack could actually be the precursor to a heart attack. The heart beats faster and hyperventilation may occur, but these signs are not necessarily accompanied by chest pain.

Signs can show even weeks preceding a heart attack, according to the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. If you believe that you are experiencing or witnessing a heart attack, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

Brandon Regional Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center is ready to help. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® hotline at 1-888-327-2636.

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Lady in Red: Go Red for Women’s Heart Health
Brandon Regional Hospital’s Echocardiography Lab Receives Accreditation by the ICAEL

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