A heart attack happens when the part of the heart muscle does not get enough blood. A blood clot blocks the blood to flow to the heart. Without blood, the tissues lose oxygen and die. Therefore, a heart attack is a medical emergency.
Heart attack signs.
The most common symptoms of a heart attack are;
- Pain in the chest, arms, or neck.
- Abnormal heartbeat.
- Sweat that is cold.
- In addition, shortness of breath.
The symptoms of heart attack are however different for different people. Therefore the more the symptoms, the greater chance of a heart attack.
Causes of a heart attack.
1. Disease of the heart.
A heart attack happens when the coronary arteries block. When fat for instance cholesterol build-up, it narrows the arteries. Therefore, this prevents oxygen and other nutrients from the heart.
2. Decrease in size of the coronary artery.
When the coronary artery suddenly contracts, it stops blood flow to the heart. This results in a heart attack.
Stress is not a direct cause of heart attack. However, stress leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure results in a risk of a heart attack. Other factors that contribute to the risk of a heart attack are;
- Old age.
- Drug use.
- Lastly, lack of exercise.
Diagnosis of a heart attack.
The doctor performs the following tests to diagnose a heart attack.
- A test that shows the heart’s activity. In addition, the test also checks the heart rate and shows how much heart muscle is in damage.
- Blood tests also help diagnose a heart attack. Enzymes that are in the blood help indicate how much muscle is in damage.
An attack requires medical attention. This is to stop permanent heart damage and even death. Some drugs are used to stop blood clots. A good example is an aspirin. A patient should take the medicines as soon as possible. Therefore, this reduces the risk of heart damage. Other treatments include procedures to help open the blocked arteries.
Things that help prevent a heart attack are patients should take medicines as per prescription. Healthy lifestyle changes are also important. For instance. patients should reduce the intake of fatty foods that are rich in cholesterol. Patients should also ensure that they go for regular checkups.