The impending fear that one day, you might have a heart attack can sometimes be more debilitating than the heart attack itself. We all know that eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining a consistent weight can help prevent heart attacks, but in the case, one does occur, how do we know what a heart attack feels like? Symptoms tend to vary, so let’s go over a few signs of a heart attack:

Signs of Heart Attacks in Men

Heart attacks tend to have different symptoms in people born male and people born female, so knowing the signs for each sex is crucial. Typically, men’s symptoms are what you’ll see first when you begin looking, and while not everyone experiences the same symptoms (or any major symptoms at all) when having a heart attack. The most common symptoms in those born male are:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pressure, tightness, pain, or squeezing sensations in the arms
  • This pressure spreads from the arms and chest to the neck and back
  • Nausea, heartburn, or abdominal pain
  • Dizziness/Lightheadedness
  • Cold sweating

Signs of Heart Attacks in Women

In people born female, heart attack symptoms tend to differ slightly. While most of these symptoms are quite similar to men’s symptoms, women tend to experience the other symptoms associated with a heart attack—nausea, vomiting, cold sweats, dizziness, etc.—alongside chest pain. In some cases, chest pain may not be as severe, and in some cases, women may not experience chest pain at all. Fatigue may also be a symptom in women as well, which can often trick people into thinking they are sick.

Knowing the Difference Between Heart Attacks and Panic Attacks

Panic attacks and heart attacks may feel the same: intense chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness are all common—but there are a few key differences you can use to differentiate between the two. For one, panic attacks can occur while the body is at rest, while heart attacks typically occur after exerting the body. A second indicator is time. Heart attacks usually last longer or worsen over time, while a panic attack takes an average of twenty minutes to die down. In panic attacks, pain in the chest doesn’t typically spread or radiate outwards as well, making jaw pain one of the defining factors.

What to do if You’re Having a Heart Attack

If you are having a heart attack, call emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself, have a friend or loved one do so instead. While waiting for the EMT or while en route to the hospital, consider taking Asprin, unless instructed otherwise.



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