Arm Pain Heart Attack What Does It Feel Like – Medically reviewed by Dr. Payal Kohli, MD, FACC — By James Roland — Updated December 16, 2021
Chest pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attack, but there may be other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dizziness. Symptoms can be severe or mild and can vary from person to person.
Arm Pain Heart Attack What Does It Feel Like
Sometimes a heart attack can be mistaken for palpitations or an anxiety attack. In addition, heart attack symptoms can be different between men and women.
Heart Attack Neck Pain
This article describes the warning signs of a heart attack, what they usually look like, and how these symptoms differ between men and women.
A heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. If there is not enough blood in the heart muscle, it can damage the affected part of the heart and cause the muscle to die. It can be life threatening.
Heart attacks are usually caused by waxy plaques that form inside the blood vessels leading to the heart. These plaques are composed of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, fat, and other inflammatory products.
When the hard plaque ruptures, blood clots form quickly. If the clot is large enough, it can interfere with blood flow to the heart.
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If the flow of oxygenated blood is completely blocked, the heart tissue supplied by these arteries can damage and die, putting you at risk of heart failure and other serious complications.
If you suspect you or a loved one is having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency room. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, do not try to drive to the hospital. Emergency medical treatment that quickly restores normal blood flow can result in less damage to heart tissue.
A heart attack usually causes pain in the middle or left side of the chest that lasts for a few minutes or comes and goes. Pain can vary from person to person. Often described as:
However, sometimes there are other symptoms besides chest pain. And, in some cases, these symptoms can occur without chest pain.
Heart Attack Symptoms, Risk, And Recovery
However, chest discomfort can be slightly different for men and women. Additionally, there are non-classic heart attack warning signs that are more common in women.
The classic symptom of chest pain may not be present in every heart attack, but it remains the most common warning sign, especially among men.
The pain is often described as a heaviness in the chest. It is located in the center of the chest, but can be felt from armpit to armpit.
Although chest pain is often a symptom of a heart attack in women, the pain is often described by men as pressure or described as compression.
Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack
Seek medical treatment for heart attack symptoms, in part because of the delay in recognizing heart attack symptoms because they are often not talked about.
Although women are slightly less likely to have a heart attack before menopause than men, the chances are the same after menopause.
Because some symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can indicate other health problems, it is important to understand other heart attack symptoms.
Call 911 if you suddenly feel nauseous and have trouble breathing, or if you have severe pain in your jaw. Tell the 911 operator that you are having a heart attack.
Detecting A Different Kind Of Jaw Pain
If you’re not sure if you or a loved one is having a heart attack, you may not want to call 911, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.
A heart attack is often a life-threatening emergency. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better your chances of recovery.
When to Call 911 If chest pain or pressure lasts more than a few minutes and is different from the pain you’ve felt before, it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible. This is especially important if you have other symptoms, such as: shortness of breath or vomiting, dizziness, sudden cold sweats, neck, arm or jaw pain, extreme fatigue.
While you wait for the ambulance to arrive, stay on the phone with the 911 dispatcher and unlock the front door for emergency personnel to arrive.
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A 911 dispatcher may tell you to chew an aspirin while waiting. This may not be safe if you are taking blood thinners.
Try to remember how and when your symptoms started so you can provide that information to emergency personnel.
To further complicate matters, some heart attacks occur without traditional symptoms or visible symptoms.
A silent heart attack, for example, can resolve on its own if the clot blocking blood flow dissolves or is removed and absorbed by the body. But a silent heart attack can still hurt.
Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention, More
If your doctor has diagnosed you with a heart attack, you may want to think about cardiac rehabilitation and how to help others who have had a heart attack.
If you have an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check the heart’s electrical system, a silent heart attack may be detected months or years later. Evidence of a heart attack can often be seen in the electrical patterns obtained by an EKG.
You may feel very tired for a few days, leading to more serious symptoms. Some people who have had a heart attack report feeling anxious and scared for days before other symptoms begin. It is more common in women, but it can also happen in men.
Mild to moderate pain in one or both arms, shortness of breath, and nausea can occur up to a massive heart attack.
Upper Arm Pain
Some people have a higher risk of heart attack than others. It is especially important to check for heart attack warning signs if you have any of the following risk factors:
Chest pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attack. However, the feeling may be slightly different for men and women. With people, the pain is often described as a heaviness in the chest and is located in the middle of the chest.
Chest pain associated with a heart attack in women is often described as pressure or tightness. In some cases, there are only other symptoms and little or no chest pain.
Other common heart attack symptoms in women include abdominal discomfort, dizziness, extreme fatigue, and jaw pain.
Upper Back Pain Radiating Down The Arm
It is very important not to ignore symptoms similar to a heart attack. Even if you’re not having a heart attack, it’s better to get evaluated than to have serious, life-threatening complications.
Trust your instincts and pay attention to what your body is telling you. If chest pain or symptoms last more than a few minutes, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.
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Our experts are constantly monitoring the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Does numbness in the left arm mean a heart attack? According to the CDC, a “silent” heart attack occurs in one in five people.
Awareness Of Heart Attack Symptoms And Response Among Adults — United States, 2008, 2014, And 2017
A heart attack is not only dangerous because it stops the blood supply to the heart, but the misconceptions surrounding it, especially the symptoms, make it worse. One of the most persistent “symptoms” is the belief that pain in the left arm is a fair warning. This is probably one of the deadliest in the book. While this can be a common heart attack symptom for men, it is not always the case for women. In women, pain is felt in both hands.
The two types can have very different symptoms. Shortness of breath, nausea and/or vomiting, back or jaw pain, or other subtle symptoms are more common in women. Believe it or not! in about 10% of women’s heart attacks, there is no pattern of chest pain.
Women may also experience dizziness, lightheadedness, and extreme fatigue. In some cases, they may faint. According to the American Heart Association, both sexes can experience chest discomfort, pressure, or pain. But some women do not feel the pressure in their breasts.
According to the CDC, a “silent” heart attack occurs in one in five people. When this happened, the man did not know that he was having a heart attack. Silent heart attacks are more common in women.
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Unfortunately, women often believe that heart attack symptoms are related to acid reflux, the flu, or the aging process. It usually takes two to four hours longer than men to respond to symptoms – a difference that can mean life or death. And when men and women have heart attacks before age 50,
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