The Lesser-Known Signs of a Heart Attack

If someone we know started complaining that their chest was tight or in pain, we would know to immediately seek help for a heart attack, right? But what if they started showing signs of dizziness, or confusion? Would you know about some of the lesser-known signs of a heart attack to get them medical treatment? The symptoms of a heart attack can be different depending on the person. The classic image of someone suddenly clutching their chest in pain may be accurate for one person, but it’s not always the picture of a heart attack. There are symptoms that are more common in men than they are in women, and some signs of an impending attack can even be felt up to a month in advance! Learn about some of the lesser-known signs of heart attacks so you can be on alert for your friends, family, and yourself! 

Not Just a Tightness in Your Chest

As stated, a tight feeling pain in our chests is what we would expect a heart attack to feel like. In the moments leading up to a heart attack, there are some additional signs that someone may be about to experience cardiac arrest. Look out for these signs: 

  • On and Off Chest Pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness 
  •  Lightheadedness
  • Confusion

Women’s Symptoms Vs. Men’s

Women and men have heart attacks at roughly the same rate, but survival rates are lower in women than men who go through this experience. Doctors believe this is because women have more subtle symptoms when they are experiencing a heart attack, which may lead them to believe they don’t need immediate medical treatment. Women are less likely to feel a stabbing, direct pain in their chest, as men often do. Rather, they will feel pressure, nausea, dizziness, and sometimes a pain through their arm. A survey done of heart attack victims revealed that while men wait an average of 16 hours to seek treatment for heart attack symptoms, women wait an average of 54 hours. That’s over two days of waiting to see a doctor for a life-threatening health event! Experts recommend that at the first sign of symptoms, you should seek medical attention, even if you are not positive that it’s a heart attack. It could save your life!

The More You Know…

Here are some other pieces of information we found fascinating about heart attacks and their symptoms! Oftentimes, we think of heart attacks happening in seconds. But some cases have been found to show symptoms for up to a month before they became unbearable and patients sought treatment. Another interesting fact: Heart attacks happen most often on a Monday morning. Doctors theorize  that physical activity over the weekend, coupled with the stress of returning to the workweek, raise the likelihood of our hearts being overwhelmed. 

Are you worried that you may be at high risk for a heart attack? Talk to your doctor before you feel any symptoms in order to take measures to lower the possibility that you’ll end up needing emergency help later on.