You may experience chest pain for various reasons; heart attack being the most common one. Chest pain is the most common reason people seek emergency room treatment at the hospital. It is usually witnessed in people suffering from heart disease, and the patient showcasing prominent symptoms like sweating, palpitations, uneasiness, etc.
Although it is not necessarily related to a heart attack, it should not be disregarded because it is crucial to determine whether it is a cardiac or noncardiac issue. Hence, it is important to seek help from your doctor or rush to a nearby hospital, as such pain, until proven otherwise, is a medical emergency. Dr Sudhir Gore, Head-Trauma & Emergency Services, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, explains various causes and tests that one should undertake if suffering from chest pain.
Symptoms of A Heart Attack
Most people suffer from a painless or silent heart attack, exhibiting minimal symptoms and having no typical chest pain. This is usually seen in individuals who have diabetes and are over 60 years of age. However, these silent attacks are even seen in those with mild symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting. Such episodes are considered mild acidity or minor dizziness, but these patients have had silent heart attacks. Dizziness, blackouts, fainting, breathlessness, and acidity are common mimics that, if overlooked, would lead one to miss the diagnosis of a heart attack.
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Heart-related Chest Pain
- Here are some heart-related symptoms you should watch out for if you feel discomfort in your chest.
- Pressure or tightness in the chest
- Fullness or burning in the chest
- Crushing or intense pain that spreads to the back, neck, shoulders, arms, etc.
- You may experience pain that lasts more than a few minutes and worsens with activity or varies in intensity.
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
- Dizziness or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
Other Types Of Chest Pain
It might be challenging to distinguish between chest pain brought on by heart problems and other health issues. However, chest pain that might occur but is not related to a heart problem could show signs like:
- You may experience a sour taste or a sensation of food in the mouth.
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain varies when you change your body’s position.
- Pain during coughing
- Pain that persists for many hours
Common Reasons For Chest Pain
Chest pain may most commonly arise from lung pathology, musculoskeletal pain, or neuropathic pain. Also, it can be due to other severe conditions like pneumothorax and pneumonia. Some common reasons for chest pain are cardiac, vascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, infections, or psychological.
Also Read: 4 Exercises To Burn Chest Fat To Reduce Risk of Heart Attack
Tests To Undertake To Rule Out A Heart Problem Post Chest Pain Episode
Dr Gore suggested several tests if you exhibit heart attack symptoms, particularly chest pain, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), a 2D echocardiogram, serial cardiac markers, and clinical and vitals data. He added that you may also be asked to provide your medical history so the doctor can see if any close relatives have suffered from heart problems. These should be discussed with the doctors to rule out cardiovascular disease.
It becomes crucial to understand the cause of the pain, whether a minor health issue or a cardiovascular disease; it is ideal to consult a specialist instead of ignoring the chest pain.