What Does A Heart Attack Feel Like?
Many who are fortunate enough not to experience a heart attack wonder what does a heart attack feel like. Before understanding what a heart attack feels like, you should understand what the heart is and what it is designed to do.
The heart is a large muscle that pumps blood to the body. An impediment in that pumping can bring on a heart attack. The blood is oxygenated (carrying oxygen), which is essential for life. The heart has many blood vessels connecting it to the rest of the body, from where it gets its blood and oxygen. A heart attack is the event in which the heart does not receive enough oxygenated blood, which results in part of the heart muscle dying. This usually occurs when the blood vessels supplying the heart are blocked.
Although it is easy to confuse a simple chest pain with a heart attack, doctors and hospitals take chest pain very seriously because they could be happening due to a heart attack. People more likely to have heart attacks include men, people with diabetes, smokers and people with high cholesterol.
When having a heart attack, you will feel heaviness and tightness in your chest with an uncomfortable amount of pressure. This is followed by squeezing pain in the center of the chest, which lasts for more than a few minutes. The pain will also spread to the arms, neck, shoulders and jaws and can be mild or intense, feeling like anything from pressure, burning, tightness or heavy weights. You will feel discomfort in your chest and will begin to feel lightheaded. Sweating, nausea, shortness of breath and fainting are also common when having a heart attack. A feeling of anxiety or nervousness will also take over and you will notice an increased or irregular heart beat.
If you noticed any of these signs, call emergency medical services right away!