Heart is a muscle and requires a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood to keep it healthy. Heart attack happens when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of your heart muscle. Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease.
Heart attack occurs when the smooth inner walls of the arteries that supply the blood to the heart muscle will be damaged and narrow due to the buildup of fatty materials, called plaque. When an area of plaque breaks, blood cells and other parts of the blood stick to the damaged area and form blood clots. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot completely blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
- Pain in arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach
- Swelling in the legs
- Feeling light-headed
- Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
- Stiff ear
Some people may have a heart attack without having any symptoms which is called Silent Heart Attack. A silent heart attack can occur in anyone, but it is more common among person with diabetes.
If you think you or anyone else is having a heart attack, you should call for an ambulance immediately.
Tests to Diagnose a Heart Attack
- ECG or EKG
- Blood tests
- chest X-ray
- Cardiac catheterization