Heart attack is mainly caused by atherosclerosis of arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle. Atherosclerosis refers to the accumulation of fatty substances and cholesterol in the arteries. This plague buildup of fatty substances narrows the path of arteries and creates difficulty in blood circulation.
Sometimes, a plaque in a heart artery can rupture (break) and form a blot clot that blocks blood flow. When the arteries are completely or partially blocked due to blood clots, a heart attack occurs. Resultantly, the heart muscle’s section begins to damage and its consistent blockage can lead to permanent heart failure.
The extent of heart muscle damage depends on the size of the damaged area and the gap between injury and treatment. Heart attack can be fatal if the treatment is not initiated timely and effectively. Therefore, the blocked artery should be opened without delay to avoid more damage to the heart muscle.
Heart Attack Signs
Atherosclerosis problem develops over time; usually, it doesn’t show any signs and symptoms to diagnose it in the early stages until and unless it reduces the blood flow to your heart muscle. A heart attack occurs suddenly and intensely, but sometimes, it starts with mild pain and discomfort.
There are the following warning signs of a heart attack that intimate you to get medical help immediately;
- Feel sore pressure, tightness, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest that persists for more than a few minutes, instant goes away, and then comes back.
- Pain or discomfort sensation in your chest or both arms that may spread to your neck, jaw, or back.
- Nausea, heartburn, or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
Post-heart Attack conditions
Depending on the intensity of the heart attack and the type of treatment you receive, health care professionals may suggest you stay in the hospital for a few days. Once your heart muscles’ recovery and healing are initiated, you may be allowed to shift home. For early recovery and avoiding future attacks, you must follow the recommendations of health care providers regarding lifestyle changes, medication, diet, and physical activity. Moreover, your health care provider can also recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program in your nearby area based on your eligibility.
Cardiac rehab is a specially designed medical procedure intended to continuously supervise the patients’ cardiac condition for the improvement of cardiovascular health. It consists of counseling and training for;
- Required exercises
- Healthy heart
- Stress reduction
Ways to reduce the risk of a heart attack
Your health care provider can better guide you about the various methods and procedures that can be used to improve the heart’s health, such as;
- Avoid smoking.
- Improve the cholesterol level.
- Maintain the normal blood pressure level.
- Use a nutritious and heart-healthy diet.
- Perform 30 minutes of physical activity or exercise daily.
- Maintain normal body weight according to your age and height.
- Control your blood sugar level.
- Visit your doctor frequently to discuss health concerns and guidelines to improve heart health.
- Take medicines exactly as prescribed.