Cardiac disease is a significant issue in the United States, contributing to 1 in 4 deaths and leading to over 725,000 heart attacks each year. Heart attacks and their ramifications can cause serious and deadly health complications, making good heart health a vital part of your daily life.
What Is a Heart Attack?
In the medical community, a heart attack is known as a myocardial infarction. This occurs when blood flow through the coronary arteries of the heart is interrupted, causing potentially fatal tissue damage. The build up to a heart attack is gradual, and is often caused by atherosclerosis, a build up of fatty plaque in the arteries. As the plaque thickens, it narrows the arteries and increases the chances that a blood clot can cause a complete blockage, leading to a heart attack.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Heart attack symptoms can vary from person to person. Chest pain is often the most noticeable symptom, and presents itself as a pressure or squeezing sensation. Pain in the back, neck, and shoulders is also common, and many heart attack patients cite lightheadedness, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea. Women do not always experience chest pain with the same severity as men, leading to increased misdiagnoses and risk for additional complications.
Heart Attack Treatment and Prevention
Upon first sign of a heart attack, urgent treatment is vitally important. Blood flow must be restored quickly in order to prevent permanent damage. Treatment options vary case by case, but can include medication, coronary stenting, coronary angioplasties, and bypass surgery.
Taking steps to prevent a heart attack before it happens is a critical part of heart health. Eating a healthy diet low in fat and maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk immensely, especially when coupled with controlling cholesterol, refraining from tobacco use, minimizing stress, and regular exercise.
A heart attack is a tragedy that millions of Americans will face in their lifetimes. If you are concerned about your risk of a heart attack, are seeking treatment for a prior attack, or would like to change your health for the better, the right cardiologist is an asset. Contact Clear Lake Specialties and see what the right medical care can do for you.