Heart Attack

Heart Diseases

Coronary artery is the vessel that feeds heart with blood and heart attack happens when a blood clot hinders the floe of blood through the coronary artery. Such interrupted rush of blood to the heart can not only damage but also destroy the muscles of heart. A long time ago heart attack was considered to be a fatal condition as the causes were unknown

A long time ago heart attack was considered to be a fatal condition as the causes were unknown. Due to the advancement in diagnosis, improvement in treatment and an increased awareness of signs and symptoms leading to heart attack it is today possible to survive the heart attack.

One’s recovery from heart attack depends upon the eating habits, exercise schedule, and one’s dealing with stressful situations. There are a number of factors that can narrow one’s coronary artery and the best way to avoid the risk of getting a heart attack is to change one’s life style in time.

Symptoms of heart attack

Common signs and symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Squeezing pain, pressure or fullness in the chest that lasts for more than few minutes
  • Pain that is not limited to the chest but outreaching to the arms, shoulders, back and teeth jaw
  • In the upper abdomen having prolonged pain
  • Impending sense of doom
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Repeated pain in the chest

It is worth remembering that the signs and symptoms of heart attack in women may be less noticeable or different from the signs and symptoms of heart attack in men. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above there are some additional signs that can be watched in the women who may have a heart attack in future:

  • Heart-burn or abdominal pain
  • Moist skin
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

It is not necessary that all those people who suffer from heart attack have same kind of signs and symptoms; moreover it is not necessary that the degree of signs and symptoms in all people remain same. It is also pertinent to remember that a person who has more signs is more likely to suffer from a heart attack than others.

One can have a heart attack at any time – anywhere in any condition whether resting or playing or working in routine. In some cases heart attack comes suddenly in other the patient has prior signs and symptoms as a warning. The signs and symptoms can appear months, days or even hours before the heart attack. The earliest prediction of a heart attack is lasting pain (angina) that starts with exertion and relieved with rest. The reason of angina is less flow of blood to the heart that results in the deficiency of oxygen known as cardiac ischemia.

Causes of Heart Attack

Heart attack is medically referred as myocardial infarction. Myo points at muscle, cardio to heart and infract to the death of the heart tissues due to the lack of oxygen. Heart needs smooth flow of blood like all other parts of body. In case heart receives less blood its cells starts to get damaged and results in pressure or pain. In case the blood flow is not restored to the heart than the tissues of heart keeps on dying and results in scars that replace the working tissues of heart. The insufficient blood flow can also lead to heart rhythms that are fatal.

Heart attack is the outcome of blockage in more than one artery that are responsible for supplying blood to the heart. Such arteries are called coronary arteries and situates like a crown around the heart. The builds up of cholesterol are responsible for narrowing the coronary artery. These blocking materials are called plaques and exist in arteries throughout the body and are known as atherosclerosis.

Any plaque of these plaques can rupture and form a blood clot in the site of the rupture when heart attack strikes. The flow of blood to the heart can completely block in case the blood clot is large enough to block he artery. Coronary artery disease is the condition when atherosclerosis narrows the coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease is the biggest cause of heart attack.

A coronary artery spasm can shut down the flow of blood to a certain muscle of heart in some unusual cases. Such a life threatening spasm can be caused by the use of drug such as cocaine.

Medically speaking the heart attack is the end of a process that usually spans over few hours. As minutes pass by more and more heart tissues are deprived of blood and with time deteriorates or even dies.