Did you know that cold weather and heavy snow can increase the risk of heart attacks - particularly in those with cardiovascular disease? American Heart Month just started (February 3 is Go Red Day for Women) and it seems like the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves of the heart attack warning signs. Whether you're shoveling snow or not, knowing these signs can save a life.
Some heart attacks strike suddenly and intensely. More heart attacks start slowly with signs that can be easily ignored, causing some people to wait too long before getting help. If you or someone you with you is experiencing these primary heart attack symptoms - don't wait! Call 9-1-1 FAST!
Both men and women experiencing a heart attack feel discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. Descriptions of the pain are uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. This symptom alone is enough reason to call 9-1-1.
Discomfort in the upper body
If you are experiencing pain in one or both arms, your upper back, neck, or jaw - you might be having a heart attack.
Shortness of breath
Unexplained shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort, is another warning sign of heart problems.
Many patients also feel nauseous or lightheaded along with the symptoms above. Some may break out into a cold sweat. Even if you're not sure what you're experiencing is related to your heart, have it checked out. Talk to your doctor and learn more about your personal risks for heart disease.