Understanding Heart Attacks: Cause and Symptoms

Heart Attacks pic
Heart Attacks
Image: webmd.com

Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Life Protect 24/7 provides personal-use medical alert devices that can instantly connect users with certified care specialists and emergency response units at the press of a button. Care specialists at Life Protect 24/7’s UL-listed monitoring centers can dispatch help for a wide variety of medical concerns, including heart attacks.

Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the heart becomes obstructed, which prevents oxygen from reaching the heart muscles. The lack of oxygen can cause severe damage to muscles in the heart and even destroy parts of them, particularly in the absence of immediate medical attention. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of heart attacks. CHD results in a waxy buildup of plaque consisting of cholesterol and other substances in the coronary arteries leading to the heart. In addition, heart attacks may occur due to spasms in the arteries that provide the heart with blood flow and oxygen. Spasms make arties tighten and consequently restrict blood flow.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, and lightheadedness or dizziness. Individuals having a heart attack may also experience pressure or pain in the chest, arms, and sometimes neck, jaw, or back. Severity and the number of symptoms exhibited vary from person to person, and some individuals may feel no pain or other sensations until they go into cardiac arrest. Although heart attacks strike suddenly, warning signs can appear hours, days, or weeks in advance.

Those who experience a heart attack must seek immediate medical attention to avoid lasting damage, such as heart failure or the development of life-threatening arrhythmias, which keep the heart from pumping enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart attacks, and those at risk can decrease their chances of having one through medication and maintaining healthier lifestyles.


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