Silent heart attack is the attack which develops without any obvious symptoms and very often patients with diabetic history or old-age people are prone to get this type of heart attack. It is unfortunate to note that twice the number of people die of silent heart attack when compared with that of heart attack with intense chest pain and other symptoms. There will not be any visible symptoms and hence the affected person is not aware of myocardial infarction and that is why there is double the number of casualty in silent heart attack.
Myocardial infarction (heart attack in medical terms) is really dramatic involving intense chest pain and loss of breath among the affected victims. Any type of heart attack, for that matter is quite serious and must be treated immediately. The recovery of the patient depends entirely on the speed at which he is taken to the hospital.
What is heart attack?
As you all know that heart is the vital organ that pumps oxygenated blood to the entire body and due to some reasons, coronary artery that takes blood to the heart gets blocked. This may result in reduction of blood flow which in turn will damage the muslces of the heart. Heart attack occurs when there is severe damage to the blood flow level and it can range from mild to intense.
Silent heart attack is really different from regular attacks in which there will be at least discomfort or pain in the shoulder, arms and even neck. Here the symptoms are severe that it cannot be ignored and the affected individual will be rushed to hospital. With respect to silent attacks, only few victims will experience pain and other signs and others leave it unnoticed.
Who are at risk?
Anyone can get silent heart attack if the blood vessels that carry blood gets blocked or weakened. However old age people and individuals who have history of diabetics are more prone to get heart attack than others.
Many people who get silent attack will not experience any symptoms like severe chest pain, palpitation, pain in the shoulder and arms and increase in blood pressure. Sometimes, it can damage the nervous system present in the heart which is called as autonomic neuropathy.
Some people have reported to experience symptoms like slight discomfort in the chest and arms and tightened jaw along with shortness of breath. Often people mistake it for tiredness and will settle to take rest instead of visiting the doctor. Anyone who is diabetic and have signs of chest pain with difficulty in breathing should be cautious to visit the nearest hospital for getting emergency check.
Interestingly there is no report from patients with silent heart attack of having overwhelming doom or severe discomfort before getting an attack.
How to identify?
To be safe, diabetic and elderly patients should go in for Electro-Cardio-Gram for measuring the heart activity for every 3 months. If necessary you can do testing of blood profile for checking the cardiac enzymes.
Causes or reasons why heart attacks are silent
• Level of pain tolerance vary widely with people and they fail to notice or ignore the symptoms
• Chronic diabetic patients may develop nerve impairment due to long-term illness which may fail to sent pain signals to the brain
• Signs are totally absent or not felt by some people
• The symptoms are not that much obvious like that of regular heart attacks
• For some people, there may not be any chest pain at all and may have only shortness of breath
• Many signs are simply ignored by the individuals and not related to cardiac ischemia
There is every chance for some people to experience many such episodes of silent attack which would ultimately lead them to fatal heart attack one day causing death instantly. You should remember that absence of any such symptoms does not mean that you have no problems.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR and Automated External Defribillators are used for managing heart attacks. Oxygen therapy is started initially even before giving treatment and aspirin is given for thinning the blood. Angioplasty is done for clearing the block of coronary arteries.
Treatment methods are the same for silent attacks like that of regular heart attack. First the symptoms of difficulty in breath should be treated to prevent further ischemia or heart failure.
Pictures of Silent Heart Attack :
Images, Pictures, Pics and Photos of Silent Heart Attack
You can reduce the risk of attacks if you quit smoking and drinking. You should take appropriate measures to lower the cholesterol level and weight. You need to change your diet pattern and lifestyle, manage your blood sugar and reduce stress.