8 Signs of a Heart Attack Seniors May Feel

If you notice any symptom of a heart attack, immediate medical attention is crucial to save one’s life. The most common disorder among the elderly is a heart attack, especially in the U.S. Because a this usually occurs unexpectedly, there is little that can be done to prepare.

Heart attack symptoms vary between individuals; no two are similar. They are especially different between men and women. Some people may not have all of the symptoms at the same time.

And if you’ve had a heart attack previously, you may have different symptoms. With a fragile group like the elderly, it’s up to people around them to pay attention to any warning indications.

You can save a senior’s life or even yours if you pay attention to the frequent signs and symptoms.

Don’t wait for symptoms of a heart attack to appear in order to get informed on this matter, since this common issue among Americans is quite deadly. So keep reading to find out more about the risk factors, symptoms and what to do in case of a heart attack. 

Risk factors

Heart Attack
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  • Age: Heart attacks are typical for those over the age of 60, therefore seniors are at the highest danger. Even though heart attacks are more common among older people, the processes that contribute to them, such as atherosclerosis, begin much earlier in life, generally in the late 40s or early 50s.
  • Smoking: The increased risk of developing a heart disease is among the many disadvantages of smoking.
  • Diabetes: Inactivity and bad eating habits are contributing to the increase in obesity, and these lifestyle factors may raise your risk of heart disease.
  • High blood cholesterol: It can cause the arteries around the heart to clog, resulting in MI (myocardial infarction).
  • Obesity: Extra fat puts a load on your heart and it can lead to illnesses such as high blood pressure.
  • Family history: If either of your parents’ families have a history of heart problems, you are more likely to develop a heart disease yourself.

1. Chest Discomfort

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is interrupted due to the reasons discussed previously. To pump blood, the heart naturally applies more pressure and force, causing abrupt discomfort and tightness in the chest. This discomfort might persist for many minutes. If this happens to you, it’s better not to overlook it, and seek immediate care.

Some seniors are hesitant to describe their discomfort, but you might ask about the sort of pain and it’s source. It’s essential to act quickly if the pain is coming from the left side of the chest and is increasing gradually.

2. Vomiting

Another quite common symptom is vomiting. If you experience this along with any other sign listed here, it’s pretty clear that you’ll have a heart attack. So be prepared! Make sure to at least let somebody know that you’re not feeling well, but it would be best to call 911, especially if you know yourself prone of having an MI.

If an older person vomits unexpectedly while having a generally healthy stomach, it should be treated seriously and reported to medical specialists right away.

3. Sudden sweating 

Heart Attack
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One of the most frequent signs for both men and women when experiencing an MI is sudden and heavy sweating. When the heart is blocked, the entire body becomes weak owing to a lack of blood.

This activates the sweat glands, causing the individual to sweat heavily in various places of the body. There are feelings of dizziness, nausea, and a lack of energy in the body, in addition to the sweating.

4. Trouble breathing 

A heart attack is also characterized by difficulty when breathing. When such a circumstance arises, senior adults are more vulnerable to deadly health issues.

In general, breathing difficulties are a prelude to chest pain and should be handled carefully by a professional care provider. Tightness in the entire upper body or torso might also indicate an imminent MI. If this is the case, getting the affected person to a hospital for medical attention is critical.

The heart and respiratory system are strongly intertwined. The heart delivers oxygen-rich blood to tissues while recycling oxygen-depleted blood via the lungs. Shortness of breath happens when the heart is unable to adequately transport blood through the lungs or the entire body. To put it easier, shortness of breath is caused by the absence of oxygen in the blood.

This sign may occur a while before the actual MI, so if simple daily tasks have become exhausting, you should probably see a doctor.

5. Fatigue

While this symptom is not always correlated to a heart attack, it may be possible. This fatigue is caused by the increased strain placed on your heart by increasing blood flow when a region of blood supply is obstructed. Even the simplest things can be difficult or demanding.

Just like chest pain and discomfort, this feeling may arise during an incident but may also begin months before a possible attack.

6. Symptoms of flu

As opposed to men, many women report their cardiac events as flu-like, making it harder to determine whether symptoms truly signal a heart attack. If you observe any of these symptoms, in addition to more common manifestations like chest discomfort, you should contact your health care practitioner or seek medical help.

Women are more likely than males to experience flu-like symptoms. Because of psychological reasons, these warning signs are frequently ignored.

It is easy to overlook regular flu symptoms as something else, but the key point to remember is to pay attention to your body and any additional symptoms you may be experiencing. Family members should still be prioritized, but nothing is more important than your personal well-being.

7. Pain in your back, jaw or neck

Women are more likely to complain of pain in their upper back, jaw, or neck. This discomfort is most typically felt in or around the heart, although the body has complex methods of alerting you if something is happening.

In women, back, neck, or jaw discomfort might be a modest sign of heart disease. It is frequently a minor sign, but one that must not be overlooked. Women might have pain in either arm, although males commonly have discomfort in the left arm.

Back discomfort, on the other hand, usually begins in the chest and progresses to both the top and lower back. Jaw discomfort in women is usually felt on the left side, closer to the heart. The pain comes in waves, unlike other types of jaw pain, where most patients can identify to a specific affected site.

People who have a heart attack may suffer referred pain, which is dispersed discomfort in other places of the body such as the jaw, shoulder blades, or arm. It occurs when discomfort begins in a group of nerves, such as the heart, and spreads to other parts of the body.

Inform your health care physician if pain in your back, neck, or jaw develops or increases with activity and then goes away after you stop. Even if you’re not pushing yourself, the pain might be intense and can keep you awake.

8. Indigestion, heartburn & flatulence

Heart Attack
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If a person has a cardiac problem, he or she may experience indigestion and heartburn. As the heart collapses, a person may feel intense pressure on the chest, leading him or her to assume it is indigestion, heartburn, or flatulence.

Sudden sensations like these should raise your suspicions, and you should absolutely consult a doctor or medical expert if they persist for an extended period of time.

What to do in case of a heart attack

  • Call the local emergency number. Under no circumstances should you overlook the signs that your body is sending you in regards to a possible heart attack. You should drive yourself to the hospital only if it is the last resource, since this can put your life and other’s at risk.
  • Begin CPR if the person is not conscious. If you find yourself in the situation where the person next to you is unconscious or not breathing, you should begin CPR right away to keep the blood flowing. Push firmly and rapidly on the person’s chest at a fast pace — around 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
  • Chew and swallow an aspirin while waiting for help. Aspirin prevents formation of blood clots. It may minimize cardiac damage if given during a heart attack. But if you are allergic to aspirin or have been advised by your doctor not to take it, do not take it.

If you start to notice any of these symptoms, your condition will most likely get worse quickly. So make sure you call 911 and follow the recommendations above.

Did YOU know about these symptoms? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!

And if you found this article helpful, you might also want to check out: Blood Clot Signs: 3 Symptoms of Important Body Parts You Should Look After.

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