Many people have lost their lives to heart attacks which appear to be among the leading causes of death in the world.

A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked, typically due to the blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries, resulting in damage to the heart muscles. Heart attack is a very deadly situation and some persons might be lucky to survive it.

Although it is generally identified with age, cases have shown that young adults also suffer from heart attacks as well.

According to the Global Heart & Circulatory Diseases fact sheet, an estimation of about 200 million people are living with coronary heart disease while globally, around 110 million and 80 million women have coronary heart disease.

Also, the World Health Organization, WHO added that Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death claiming about 17.9 million lives globally. It also noted that four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attack and stroke and that one-third of the deaths occur permanently in people under 70 years of age.

Most often, a lot of people have mistaken heart attack for cardiac arrest either because of the similarities in the symptoms of the two illnesses or so.

However, they are different. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body which leads to an abrupt seizure of breath. If left untreated, death might be waiting in a few minutes.

Symptoms of cardiac arrest may include sudden collapses, no pulse/ breathing, and loss of consciousness. The first treatment is Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which involves applying pressure on the chest region to increase block flow to the organs.

Identifying the signs and symptoms of a heart attack is crucial in seeking prompt medical attention because if left untreated, the patient might die as enough oxygen is not gotten.

Here are six signs that you might be experiencing a heart attack:

•Serious chest pain or discomfort around chest region:

This is the most prominent sign that a person is experiencing a heart attack. The pain might be sharp or very gripping around the chest that it can last for minutes before relief. It might feel like a sort of tightness or fullness around the chest or as if a heavyweight is around the chest.

•Shortness of breath:

Another common symptom of heart attack is breath shortness. Feelings such as gasping or struggling to breathe for no reason, even without engaging in any physical activity.

* Unexplained sweating:

Sweating profusely or for no reason especially if the temperature around is cool, is a symptom indicating a heart attack. This is because the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated during a heart attack, causing sweating.


Constantly having the feeling to throw up/vomit can occur during a heart attack. Others might develop feelings as if coming down with an illness. Some might vomit.

•Feeling Discomfort:

For example, discomfort around the upper body such as hands, legs, back, or stomach which might feel itchy or a burning sensation can occur during a heart attack.

* Dizziness:

Feeling lightheaded or dizzy can be a sign of a heart attack. This is because the heart is not able to pump enough blood to the brain, causing a drop in blood pressure.

However, symptoms may vary in individuals and they may be mild or severe. But then, the most important thing is identifying the ailment and seeking medical attention immediately.

This is because early intervention can reduce the amount of damage to your heart muscles and improve the chances of survival.

Prevention and treatment may include eating healthy such as eating a heart-healthy diet, getting regular exercise, not smoking, managing stress, and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. If you have a family history of heart disease or other risk factors, talk to your doctor about steps to take to reduce risk.

Medications such as aspirin, and nitroglycerin (if prescribed) can be administered as they help in preventing blood clots and make blood flow easily.