The heart attacks which occur without the general symptoms such as acute chest pain and pressure, sudden shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness and stabbing pain in the arm, neck or jaw is called as the silent heart attack. They are described as ‘silent’ because they lack the ferocity of a classic heart attack. It is also known as Silent Myocardial Infarction (SMI).
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The symptoms shown by a victim in a silent heart attack are generally so mild and brief that the victim gets confused for regular problems in the body or less severe problems as compared to heart problems and thus, people generally ignore them. Around 45% of the cases of heart attacks are a silent heart attack. According to the survey, it hits men more than women. Some of the symptoms which don’t look severe but may result in a silent heart attack are mentioned below.
What are the Symptoms of a Silent Heart Attack?
2. Poor sleep
3. Age-related body ache
4. Mild chest throat and pain
7. Gastric reflux
These symptoms are so light that people ignore them. Even while SMI or afterward, these symptoms are not so prominent which further increases the chances of ignoring them. This is also due to the misunderstanding of the location of the pain. For instance, the pain might not occur in your heart but the reason behind it might increase the risk of a silent heart attack.
Why are some Heart Attacks Silent?
Mostly, the persons who are the victims of a silent heart attack are not able to identify the real cause of the symptom. This means a heart attack occurs without the victim being aware if something is happening in particular. There are certain reasons behind this which are discussed below.
What are the Reasons for a Silent Heart Attack?
1. High Tolerance for Pain: Some people have a high tolerance when it comes to bear the pain. Unfortunately, in this case, they are not able to notice the symptom that would be easy for any other person to identify.
3. Some people connect the above-mentioned symptoms with normal problems such as cold or cough, indigestion or heartburn, thus they ignore it.
4. Silent heart attacks are also associated with age and sex. Generally, people above 75 years of age are the victim of such an attack. If talking about sex, it is more common in men as compared to women.
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What are the Causes of a Silent Heart Attack?
The main cause of the is when the plaque in the coronary artery is fractured. The fracture causes a blood clot in the artery which leads to the blockage of the artery. Now, the heart muscle which was supplied through the blocked artery lacks in oxygen, which results in the chest pain and other symptoms. If the blockage is not relieved within a few hours, the portion of the heart muscle dies which could be the probable cause of a heart attack. In most of the cases, a person with these symptoms consults the doctor for medical help.
A silent heart attack is very dangerous as it leaves a negative impact on heart health. After this, a person is more prone to other heart diseases and because a person ignores these symptoms, blood flow to the heart comparatively decreases. Moreover, the victim does not consume any medication, so, the impact of the next heart attack might be greater and more severe.
How to Prevent Silent Heart Attack?
To prevent a silent heart attack, you need to be fit and healthy. Indulge yourself in regular exercises to improve your health. Maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, control your cholesterol level and avoid or stop smoking. The key factor to prevent a major accident is to not ignore any symptom and consult the doctor for the diagnosis of your issue.
Treatment for a Silent Heart Attack
If you are found to have had a silent heart attack, two important facts open about you. The first one is that measuring the severity of the symptom is not enough to determine the way of the treatment and the second thing is that you have significant CAD ( Coronary Artery Disease ).
In case of a silent heart attack, the treatment is almost the same as of a regular heart attack. These treatments include:
1. Preventing further blockage or coronary artery
2. Preventing the reason for the start of heart failure.
Other than these treatments, a stress test is induced in order to recognize and identify the exact cause. This process helps the doctors to properly treat the patient.
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