Was that a Heart Attack?

Based on the telltale signs most people associate with “The Big One,” you would think that you would know without a doubt if a cardiac event were to occur. Interestingly enough, almost fifty-percent of heart-attack victims don’t put two and two together at the time of their event. Are they just not paying attention? Of course not. There is a term for this: silent heart attack. These events are diagnosed after the fact when a diagnostic test to measure the heart reveals the extent of the damage.

Why might this occur? There are probably more potential explanations than we even know. One theory is that the person who has a silent heart attack has an extraordinarily high pain threshold. A heart attack may feel more like muscle pain, or like indigestion. What may really throw a person off is if their pain occurs away from the heart altogether. We expect a heart attack to hurt the heart, not another area such as the jaw or the earlobe (yes, this has happened).

Different Strokes For Different Folks

While there are classic heart attack symptoms that perhaps we all should know, there is also some degree of danger in being rigid about them. Different people experience heart attack symptoms differently, that’s all there is to it. Some people describe sensations such as a deep ache. Some say their heart attack felt like a pressure that they could “tough out” because it really didn’t seem all that serious.

Here’s what you want to know about potential heart attack pain: it can be unique. This potential for non-classic symptoms is higher for women, too; this is a detail to tuck in your pocket of knowledge.

Heart attack symptoms we expect to see include:

The way a heart attack may manifest may be with:

Heart attack symptoms can be sneaky, but you know your body. If you experience unusual sensations in the upper body, call your doctor immediately, or call 911. Your heart cannot wait.

Schedule A Consultation

Do you have questions about heart disease, diagnostic cardiac tests or treatments for heart conditions? We’re here to help you. Call 516-437-5600 to schedule a visit to one of our New York offices.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Chest Pain Serious?

Whether it’s a sharp twinge, a dull ache, or something more, chest pain tends to get attention. And it should. Our team talks about various types of chest pain and why you shouldn’t ignore them.

HDL vs. LDL: Understanding Cholesterol and Your Health

Confused about what your “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels mean and why your doctor keeps mentioning your triglycerides? Our team highlights the importance of all three and discusses what you can do to change your numbers.

What Causes Heart Valves to Fail?

Have you been told you might have valvular heart disease? Wondering what that is and how it’s treated? Our experts explain more about this potentially less familiar but relatively common heart condition that may be tied to longevity.

What Can I Expect After I Get Stents?

Wondering what happens once your cardiologist sends you home with stents in place? Here’s what our specialty team wants you to know about living your life after stent placement.

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Blood Pressure

Are you confused about how a condition that keeps you up at night causes problems with your blood pressure? Learn more about the health effects of sleep apnea and why effective treatment is so important.