Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
Heartburn, angina and heart attack may feel very much alike. Even experienced doctors can't always tell the difference from your medical history and a physical exam. That's why, if you go to the emergency room because of chest pain, you'll immediately have tests to rule out a heart attack.
Symptoms of a heart attack can include: chest pain – a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest. pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and tummy.
Chest pain from a heart attack often feels like a large amount of pressure, tightness, burning, or squeezing in the chest. In comparison, chest pain that feels like a sharp or knife-like pain resulting from coughing or breathing is likely not due to a heart attack.
Heart-related chest pain
Crushing or searing pain that spreads to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and one or both arms. Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back, or varies in intensity. Shortness of breath. Cold sweats.
Symptoms that suggest another problem
More often than not, chest pain does not signal a heart attack. A study of emergency room visits found that less than 6% of patients arriving with chest pain had a life-threatening heart issue.
Pre-Heart Attack Symptoms – Female
Men may feel pain and numbness in the left arm or the side of the chest. In women, these symptoms may appear on the right side. Women may experience unexplained exhaustion, or feel drained, dizzy or nauseous. Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw.
“I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack.
A heart attack may strike suddenly, but most people have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks beforehand. One of the earliest warning signs of an impending heart attack is chest pain, or angina, that occurs repeatedly because of exertion and is then eased by rest.
The pain of a heart attack differs from that of a strained chest muscle. A heart attack may cause a dull pain or an uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the chest. Usually, the pain begins in the center of the chest, and it may radiate outward to one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Chest pain can be sharp or dull. You may feel tightness, achiness, or you may feel like your chest is being crushed or squeezed. Chest pain can last for a few minutes or hours. In some cases, it can last six months or longer.
Immediate action required: Phone 999 immediately if: You or someone else has symptoms like: central chest pain or discomfort in the chest that doesn't go away – it may feel like pressure, tightness or squeezing. pain that radiates down the left arm, or both arms, or to the neck, jaw, back or stomach.
If you have chest pain that comes and goes, you should be sure to see your doctor. It's important that they evaluate and properly diagnose your condition so that you can receive treatment. Remember that chest pain can also be a sign of a more serious condition like a heart attack.
Heart attack symptoms for women
Women often describe heart attack pain as pressure or tightness. And it's possible to have a heart attack without chest pain. Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as: Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or upper belly (abdomen) discomfort.
It could be a lung disorder, such as a blood clot to the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism. Additionally, other causes of chest discomfort include spasm of the esophagus, diseases of the aorta, gastroesophageal reflux disease, musculoskeletal pain, fast heart rhythm abnormalities and costochondritis.
Heart pain is usually not sharp or stabbing. In general, any pain that gets worse with movement is not from the heart. Chest pain that is aching, sharp or stabbing, may be caused by other conditions such as acid reflux or heartburn, pleurisy or joint and muscle pain.
The symptoms of an artery blockage include chest pain and tightness, and shortness of breath. Imagine driving through a tunnel.
The difference is that, when extra heartbeats in the upper and lower chambers are the cause of abnormal rhythm, symptoms may feel like an initial skip or hard thumping beat followed by a racing heart. When anxiety is the trigger, heart rate typically increases steadily rather than suddenly.
You want to call 911 if you are having sudden, crushing chest pain or if your chest pain radiates into the jaw or the left arm. You want to call 911 if your chest pain also causes shortness of breath, or dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.
This discomfort or pain can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the chest lasting more than a few minutes. This discomfort may come and go.