A heart attack is a medical emergency where the flow of blood to the muscle tissues of the heart becomes suddenly obstructed. Without a blood supply, the muscle tissues do not receive oxygen. The muscle tissues begin to die of oxygen deprivation if blood flow is not restored within several minutes. When these tissues die, the heart muscle is unable to continue beating.
This medical emergency is commonly caused by cardiovascular disease, where the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood become narrowed by plaque. A heart attack may also be the result of coronary artery spasm. Some individuals have a higher risk of a heart attack, including those who are smokers, have hypertension, are obese, have diabetes, and those who eat a high-fat diet. The symptoms that occur during a heart attack differ from one individual to the next. However, there are a few symptoms are more prevalent than others.
Pressure Or Pain In The Chest
Pressure or pain in the chest can indicate n individual may be having a heart attack. The majority of heart attacks are associated with sensations of discomfort or pain in the center or left side of the chest. This discomfort or pain may have a long continuous duration, or it may go but always return. Some individuals who have experienced a heart attack describe this chest pressure or pain to feel similar to digestive symptoms, like indigestion or heartburn. The feeling is often described by individuals as heaviness, fullness, squeezing, pressure, or constricting pain.
The pain can exhibit qualities such as burning, sharp, or dull. Some describe it feeling like a bra that is too tight or an elephant sitting on their chest. Chest pain or pressure from a heart attack typically becomes worse when increasing activity and may lower in intensity with rest. More individuals affected by a heart attack describe the feeling in the chest as pressure or discomfort more than an actual painful sensation. Chest pain from a heart attack is usually felt throughout the patient's chest, rather than focal at one point. Pain from a heart attack does not typically occur suddenly but develops gradually with time.