Myocardial Infarction Symptoms

Heart attacks, also referred to as myocardial infarction, are sadly all too prevalent in the United States. As a matter of fact, a heart attack transpires about every 20 seconds in the U.S., leading to approximately 500,000 deaths per year. All the expenses related to heart events add up to an estimated amount of $60 billion.

So how does a heart attack occur? Myocardial infarction happens because of restricted blood flow to the heart that allows it to work correctly, resulting in the arteries to get clogged. Arteries can be blocked for a variety of reasons, which can be fat deposits, hypertension, and even too much stress. When the heart is deprived of the blood supply it requires, it begins to perish, which is very much like a person being deprived of oxygen. Due to this lack of blood flow, the heart muscle starts to get damaged, leading to heart pain among other symptoms.

The good news for individuals who survive myocardial infarction is that the damaged heart tissue heals to a degree but not entirely. As the scar tissue in the heart is often permanent, the heart can no longer pump as effectively as it used to.

Symptoms of Myocardial Infarction

A heart attack can exhibit itself with a variety of symptoms. Heart pain is, however, the primary symptom associated with myocardial infarction. Of course, not every instance of heart pain means one is experiencing a cardiac arrest. It is when heart pain reaches all across the upper body and even into the stomach there is a good chance it is a cardiovascular event.

Most people experiencing myocardial infarction describe the sensation as an elephant weighing down on their chest. Some other symptoms associated with myocardial infarction are cold sweats and feeling lightheaded, which is typically coupled with tunnel vision. Some patients also experience digestive symptoms like nausea and vomiting, which can take place either before or after the attack.  

There are also some less common symptoms such as when a heart attack is due to stress. When an event of myocardial infarction is stress-related, individuals typically feel especially nervous or riddled with anxiety. Finally, another telltale sign can be a sharp pain in your left arm, which can often be the first symptom of myocardial infarction coupled with cold sweats.

Treatments for Myocardial Infarction

Fast response is of utmost importance when one begins experiencing severe heart pain as it is very likely myocardial infarction. Getting medical attention quickly can prevent the heart tissue from getting too damaged.

Individuals who suspect they may be experiencing a heart attack must seek medical attention right away. A medical team usually employ one of many treatment options to get the situation under control. The most common treatment options include thrombolytic drugs to stop blood-clotting, beta-blockers to relieve pressure and restore the blood flow to the heart, or ACE inhibitors which have a similar function as beta-blockers. Another option is angioplasty. Angioplasty is a procedure in which a device is inserted in the artery to address a blockage and also prevent the artery from getting obstructed again.

Myocardial infarction is a serious event that can be life-threatening, but many treatment options are available as long as you seek medical attention immediately, which is why it is paramount to be aware of myocardial infarction symptoms to recognize an attack.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© belchonock

Posted on May 5, 2023