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A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart suddenly becomes blocked. Without the blood coming in, the heart can't get oxygen. If not treated quickly, the heart muscle begins to die. But if you do get quick treatment, you may be able to prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle. That's why it's important to know the symptoms of a heart attack and call 911 if you or someone else is having them. You should call, even if you are not sure that it is a heart attack.
One of the main symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain. The pain can range from mild to severe in intensity. It may feel like pressure or a sensation of fullness or squeezing. Other symptoms of a heart attack include- shortness of breath, cold sweats, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, nausea or vomiting, unusual level of fatigue.
Treatment for a heart attack focuses on restoring blood flow to the affected area of the heart and preventing additional damage from occurring.
Heart failure treatment aims to manage the conditions that contribute to heart failure, reduce strain on the heart, and prevent heart failure from becoming worse.
Heart attacks can be treated with:
Medications- A variety of medications can be used to help treat a heart attack. These can include clot-busting medications, which are used to dissolve blood clots. Nitroglycerin, which can help to open arteries and improve blood flow blood thinners or anticlotting medications, which help prevent blood clots from forming. Pain-relieving medications beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors, which work to lower blood pressure. Statins, which help to lower cholesterol levels.
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)- PCI is a procedure that helps to open the blocked coronary artery and restore blood flow. A stent may also be placed to help keep the artery open.
Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)- During CABG, a healthy artery or vein is removed from one area of your body and then positioned to go around, or bypass, the blocked area of a coronary artery.
Lifestyle changes- Your doctor will recommend various lifestyle changes to help promote heart health and prevent another heart attack.
Coronary artery disease is a common cause of heart attacks. With this condition, a substance called plaque has built up on the walls of the arteries through a process called atherosclerosis.
As plaque accumulates, the coronary arteries become narrow. Plaque within a coronary artery can break, causing a blood clot to form. This blood clot can disrupt the flow of blood through the coronary arteries, leading to a heart attack.
A less common cause of heart attack is a sudden tightening (spasm) of the coronary arteries, which can also restrict blood flow. This can happen due to severe physical or emotional stress, extreme cold, or using drugs like cocaine.
Avoid unhealthy foods.- Limit or avoid foods high in sodium, sugar, and saturated or trans fats.
Limit alcohol.- Try to limit intake to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Quit smoking.- If you smoke, work with your healthcare professional to develop a quit plan.
Be active-. Get regular exercise. A good goal is 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days per week.
Manage weight.- Obesity raises your risk of heart disease. Your doctor can recommend safe ways to help you lose weight.
See your doctor regularly-. Routine checkups can help identify and treat health conditions early, including heart disease.