Surprising signs of a heart attack
It’s possible that when you think of heart attack symptoms, you imagine an excruciating, chest-clenching sensation. However, health authorities suggest that in a remarkable number of cases, this tell-tale pain may not be what an individual actually experiences.
In fact, the Australia’s Heart Research Institute estimates that of the 57,000 heart attacks that occur in Australia each year, 15 per cent of these are ‘silent’ heart attacks. A silent heart attack is accompanied by relatively mild symptoms or none at all. The damage is done but an individual is not aware of it.
Obviously, this makes it essential to identify possible silent heart attack symptoms as soon as possible. That’s because the quicker you get treatment, the more likely you are to survive without permanent damage to your heart muscle.
To help you recognise the silent signs of a heart attack, we spoke with cardiologists and other heart health experts who share the subtle symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.
An overall feeling that something’s wrong
For those days when you just feel ‘off,’ pay attention to what else your body might be trying to tell you. “Heart attack patients have told me they have a feeling of doom – like something’s just not right,” says cardiologist, Dr Stacey E. Rosen. “Listen to that little voice,” Dr. Rosen suggests. “If something feels off, it’s always better to be overly cautious and call a doctor.”
In addition, Dr Rosen reports that some of her patients have reported feeling “less mentally sharp” right before a heart attack.
Feeling like you’re being hugged tightly
Heart attack chest pain is often classically described as sharp, stabbing, or even a dull ache. However, sometimes a heart attack may feel more like pressure and heaviness on your chest, or like you’re being squeezed tightly, says cardiologist, Dr Jim Liu.