The leading cause of death in America is heart attacks. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are the three major causes of heart attacks.
Dealing with health conditions such as diabetes, overweight, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use can only increase the risk of a heart attack.
Approximately half of all heart attacks happen outside of a hospital, and early detection is key in survival.
Here are the symptoms you need to be aware of when it comes to recognizing heart attacks. These could let you know if you are at risk, even a month before it happens.
Chest discomfort – one of the most common symptoms and it can be in many different forms. Some people feel a pressure in their chest, while others feel burning or pinching.
These feelings can occur during physical activity or while you’re at rest.
The best thing to do is to contact a doctor right away if you feel any strange sensations in your chest. However, it should be noted that you could be having a heart attack without feeling discomfort in your chest.
Feeling tired – A sudden feeling of fatigue for no reason could be a sign that a heart attack is incoming. The heart has to work harder as arteries begin to close, and can make simple tasks feel exhausting.
This can result sleeping longer hours at night or feeling like you need to take multiple naps during the day.
Long lasting cold symptoms – Having cold symptoms that won’t seem to go away could be a sign of heart failure. As the heart struggles with supplying the body with blood, blood can leak back into the lungs.
Pay attention to white or pink mucus with your cough which could be a byproduct of blood leakage.
Swelling – When the heart is struggling to pump the blood, veins can begin to swell causing a bloating effect. The main points of swelling are the feet, ankles, and legs because they are the farthest from the heart.
It is also possible to observe peripheral cyanosis, which is a blue tinge seen in the lips or extremities.
Dizziness –Because the blood circulation is restricted the brain may not be receiving the amount of oxygen it needs. If you feel constantly dizzy or light headed then it is a major point of concern and you should seek medical attention immediately.
Shortness of breath – When the heart begins to work poorly, the lungs don’t get the amount of oxygen that they need, this causes difficulty breathing and needs to be treated immediately.
Some of these symptoms can occur up to a month in advance so it is important to be aware of them at all times. If you feel any or a combination of these symptoms please seek medical attention quickly.