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What is a Silent Heart Attack?

Silent Heart Attack

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 of Silent Heart Attack

Risk factors for silent heart attack are almost the same as that of typical heart attacks with symptoms. Common risk factors include the following.

  • Family History of Heart Disease
  • Age
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Chewing or Smoking Tobacco
  • Being Overweight
  • Lack of Exercise

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.

Symptoms of a Silent Heart Attack

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, like the name implies has no symptoms or minimal symptoms, or unrecognized symptoms which like any other heart attack temporarily blocks blood flow to a section of the heart & can eventually cause scarring & damage to heart muscle.
  • Silent heart attack patients complain of fatigue & problems associated with heart disease without realizing that they have had an heart attack, weeks or even months after they have had one. Silent heart attacks are often discovered only when doctors come to know through an EKG or MRI which is performed at a later point of time.
  • People having silent heart attacks are more likely to portray non-specific & subtle symptoms like indigestion or a case like flu or they may feel like they strained a muscle in chest or upper back.
  • Discomfort may not be felt in the chest by a silent heart attack patient. Instead he may feel it in the jaw, or arms or upper back. Some patients also have excessive & prolonged fatigue which remains unexplained. These are some of the less specific symptoms of a silent heart attack which people largely ignore or attribute to some other condition.

Causes of Silent Heart Attack in Women

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.

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Things to Do During a Silent Heart Attack

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.

How to Prevent Silent Heart Attacks

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.

Solve Your Heart Problems with IndianMedTrip

Currently, India is one of the best medical tourism destinations in the world providing a wide spectrum of affordable healthcare solutions including cardiac procedures to international patients who are quite concerned with the rising costs of medical procedures within their homelands. With excellent cardiac surgeons & well equipped hospital facilities, India offers high quality & low cost procedures to a variety of heart problems including angioplasty, artificial heart valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, heart transplant & several other cardiac treatments. IndianMedTrip is associated with the top cardiac surgeons & internationally accredited hospitals so as to give the best heart treatments to people from all around the world. Established as one of the leading medical tourism companies in South Asia, IndianMedTrip services begin with the first phone call & go on to assisting international patients obtain medical visa to warm welcome at airport, convenient travel & comfortable accommodation, schedule treatment & surgical appointments with doctors, exotic recuperation holidays, follow-up checks & successful farewell.

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