Silent Heart Attack is a type of heart attack which only has few, if any symptoms. People having silent heart attack may never have had any symptoms so as to warn them that they have developed any heart problem, like shortness of breath or chest pain. However, some patients have later recalled that their silent heart attack was at the time mistaken for muscle pain, nausea, indigestion or a bad case of flu.
Risk factors for silent heart attack are almost the same as that of typical heart attacks with symptoms. Common risk factors include the following.
Having one silent heart attack puts patients at a higher risk of having another heart attack & which can also prove to be fatal. Having another heart attack invariably increases risk of complications like heart failure. The only way which can tell that a person has had a silent heart attack is to undergo imaging tests like an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram or other similar procedures. These tests will effectively reveal changes which signal that a person has had a heart attack. People who think they have had a silent heart attack must talk to their doctors who will eventually review their symptoms, health history & conduct a physical examination which will help them decide if any more tests are necessary.
Many heart attacks do not have obvious symptoms like shortness of breath, pain in chest & cold sweats. Silent heart attack in fact can happen without the person knowing that he is having one. Medically known as silent ischemia, which is lack of oxygen to heart muscle, some conditions associated with a silent heart attack are listed below.
Silent heart attack will typically happen when blood flow to heart muscle is blocked in the coronary artery due to buildup of plaque. While studies differ, some researchers suggest that silent heart attack is more common among women. Many women & their physicians erroneously chalk up symptoms of silent heart attacks to anxiety & dismiss them altogether. Nevertheless, risk factors of silent heart attack are similar to those recognized for common heart attacks & include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, age, obesity, smoking, & family history of heart disease. However, silent heart attacks are just as dangerous as the more obvious counterpart since this event also leaves behind scarring & damage to heart & invariably puts the person at greater risk of other problems of the heart. Moreover, the impact of silent heart attack can potentially be greater as the patient might not have sought treatment & blood flow to heart may not have been restored early without administration of medications.
The “silent” fact within a silent heart attack is the most complicating factor. Women often never realize that they are experiencing medical emergency. However, it would be the most ideal thing to stay calm & seek medical help immediately when people notice any symptoms of a silent heart attack. It would also be sensible to let the doctors know that they are suspecting a silent heart attack & not an anxiety attack when patients get to the hospital. Patients should advocate for themselves, or better bring along someone who can do this for them.
It would be advisable that patients should know their risk factors & be aware of their cholesterol & blood pressure levels. They should avoid smoking & exercise regularly so as to decrease their risk of heart attack. Above all, they should listen to their bodies & talk to the doctor when their body tells them that something is not right.
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