One of the most common causes of death is a heart attack. But what exactly is a heart attack and how does it happen? In this article we answer these questions and more.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack is a disease of the heart that often occurs in old age. This is because the heart muscle tissue decreases over the years and a heart attack becomes more likely. A heart attack or myocardial infarction should not be underestimated and is an absolute emergency situation. That is why you must act quickly if you have clear symptoms and, if necessary, provide first aid.
What happens during a heart attack?
Basically, a heart attack occurs when the heart wall is no longer supplied with blood properly. The heart wall is then no longer supplied with blood properly as soon as the coronary vessels begin to close. Depending on the severity of the heart attack, the coronary vessels are only partially or completely closed. But why do the coronary vessels close? With age, calcium deposits and blood fats accumulate on the walls of the coronary vessels. As a result, the coronary vessels can no longer supply the heart properly with oxygen and blood. The result is ultimately a heart attack.
How is this different from heart failure?
The term heart failure is also often mentioned in connection with heart disease. But many people do not really know what heart failure is. In principle, it is a heart failure, just like a heart attack. In heart failure, however, the heart is no longer able to pump blood through the body. The difference to a heart attack is mainly in the symptoms. Typical symptoms are shortness of breath or fatigue. With a heart attack, on the other hand, the symptoms are much more noticeable and severe.
Symptoms of a heart attack?
The most important thing is to recognise a heart attack and its signs as early as possible. Sometimes it only becomes noticeable gradually and you don’t know that it is a heart attack. And sometimes the symptoms are so clear that you can safely assume it is a heart attack. As a rule, the sequence of events is as follows:
- The chest begins to hurt and enormous pressure builds up. The pain usually lasts longer than 15 minutes.
- The chest pain spreads and affects other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, arms, neck and jaw. A heart attack is also noticeable through pain in the upper arm or tingling in the hand.
- The pain continues and does not go away.
If this is the case, you should dial the emergency number as soon as possible and request help. As a rule, an emergency doctor will then set off as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you can give first aid if necessary. Stay calm and wait for the instructions of the emergency caller.
Other symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fear of death
- Pale face
- General feeling of weakness
Causes of a heart attack?
Now the only question is how a heart attack occurs. The most common cause is age-related, as the heart becomes weaker and more vulnerable with age. Poor diet and little exercise can lead to pre-existing conditions such as arteriosclerosis. This is all the deposits on the arteries, which in turn narrow them. As a result, less blood flows through the body and you yourself are more susceptible to heart attacks. Smoking or an unhealthy lifestyle can also have a negative effect on the heart. That is why you should regularly have yourself examined by a doctor for possible diseases.
Prevent heart attack
You should make sure that you avoid as much stress as possible in everyday life. The job can often demand a lot from us, but you are not doing the body much good.
- Make sure you eat a balanced and healthy diet so that you can strengthen your body and your heart.
- Keep moving and do enough sports, so you can additionally strengthen the body.
- But all pre-existing conditions can also damage the rest of the body and especially the heart over time. If you are affected by pre-existing conditions, you should discuss them with your doctor.
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