Despite the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women nationwide, thousands of women are either unaware of their risk or don’t think a heart attack could happen to them. General cardiology checkups should be just as important to women as routine breast care, and at the very least, it’s crucial that women understand the signs they could be having a heart attack and when to seek medical attention. Here’s an overview:
Dull Pressure in the Chest or Upper Back
While a woman’s heart attack can be every bit as dramatic as Hollywood likes to portray a man’s, it most usually isn’t. There can be a dull, uncomfortable pressure in the middle of the chest or across the middle of the back that may feel like someone is squeezing you too tightly. Sharp pain is definitely a possibility and should not be ignored, but pressure accompanied by feeling severely winded is most common.
In many cases, women mistake a heart attack for coming down with the flu, as both can produce similar symptoms and tend to come on just as suddenly and strongly. Cold sweats, lightheadedness or dizziness, and nausea, especially when accompanied by pain or pressure in the chest or shortness of breath, warrant a visit to a hospital or urgent care center for immediate evaluation.
Pain in the Arms, Neck, Jaw, or Shoulders
Most people know that pain in the left arm is a common symptom of a heart attack, but most people don’t realize that this pain is not limited to the left arm alone. Pain can be in either or both arms, and may radiate from the jaw through the neck and shoulders as well. It can even extend into the back and stomach.
Symptoms of a heart attack are nothing to take lightly. You should seek immediate care if you experience any. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it’s much better to take the proactive approach than to experience the potentially fatal consequences of ignoring the problem. Contact Doctors Hospital of Sarasota at (888) 685-1596 for more information.