Not every cardiac event results in dramatic, easily recognizable symptoms. In fact, heart care specialists acknowledge the occurrence of silent heart attacks. A silent heart attack causes only minimal symptoms, unrecognizable symptoms, or sometimes no symptoms at all. Unfortunately, the lack of severe chest pain does not mean the heart has not sustained serious damage. If you or a loved one suffers a silent heart attack, being able to identify the subtle symptoms facilitates life-saving interventions. At the emergency room of Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our heart care specialists are always available to respond to cardiac emergencies. This featured video offers a brief glimpse as to what you can expect at the emergency room.
Fatigue is one of the most commonly overlooked symptoms of a heart attack, perhaps in part because it can be attributable to many other causes. Patients may feel abnormally fatigued days or weeks before suffering a myocardial infarction or heart attack. The fatigue may occur regardless of the amount of sleep a patient gets, although heart problems can also cause sleep disturbances. This symptom may interfere with the patient’s ability to perform normal activities.
Many heart attack survivors report suffering from non-specific, flu-like symptoms. These can include cold sweats, clammy skin, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Patients may feel unusual and severe generalized weakness. Some patients become nauseated.
Indigestion is another possible symptom of a heart attack. Indigestion can encompass symptoms such as minor regurgitation, acidic taste in the mouth, abdominal discomfort, and bloating.
Discomfort in areas other than the chest can occur with a heart attack. Some patients suffer from pain or sensations of tightness in the jaw, neck, upper back, or upper abdomen. The discomfort may also extend along one or both arms.
Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks is a Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center and a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. These designations reflect the dedication of our heart health team to facilitating better outcomes for our cardiac patients. If you require transportation to the emergency room, please call 911 now; otherwise, you can contact our heart hospital at (877) 888-5746.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the U.S. In fact, cardiovascular problems kill one out of every three people. This February, which is American Heart Month, the cardiology team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center encourages our neighbors throughout the Thousand Oaks area to become more aware of the risks of cardiovascular problems. By taking steps now to improve your wellness, you can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Managing Medical Conditions
Risk factors of cardiovascular disease are often thought of as being one’s family history or lifestyle choices. However, having certain underlying health problems can also contribute to an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. For example, atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor of stroke. When you watch this video, which features a cardiology specialist, you’ll learn more about what atrial fibrillation is. If you have an existing medical condition, consider talking to your physician about whether it may lead to other medical problems and how you can manage it appropriately. Other medical risk factors of heart attack and stroke include the following:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Sickle cell disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Making Lifestyle Changes
Leading a healthy lifestyle is an integral part of reducing one’s risk of heart attack and stroke, along with a slew of other serious medical problems. If you already have a medical condition, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor before changing your exercise routine or dietary habits. Enjoying physical activity and following a low-fat, low-sugar, and high-fiber diet can help keep your heart and vascular system working properly. Other important lifestyle choices include avoiding first-hand and second-hand smoke, and limiting or avoiding alcoholic beverages.
The cardiology specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center work closely with patients to develop effective, actionable solutions for cardiovascular disease treatment and prevention . Not only is our hospital a Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center, we are a Certified Primary Stroke Center. Thousand Oaks residents are urged to call 911 for emergency assistance or contact our heart hospital at (877) 888-5746 with non-emergent inquiries.
When you read the phrase “heart attack victim,” the image that may come to your mind is likely that of an older man. Yet, heart disease is the leading killer of women. Heart attacks are a major public health problem that is compounded by the difficulty of recognizing the subtler symptoms, particularly when they occur in younger women. Cardiology specialists encourage patients to err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room if suspected heart attack symptoms develop, even if they do not seem serious. Thousand Oaks residents will find prompt cardiology evaluation and medical intervention at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center .
Shortness of breath can have many causes, including physical exertion, asthma, and panic attacks. However, when a younger woman suffers a heart attack, she may experience atypical shortness of breath despite the absence of physical exertion or similar factors. Shortness of breath may occur when the patient performs physical tasks that do not normally result in respiratory distress.
Women, particularly younger women, are more likely than men to experience flu-like symptoms when suffering from myocardial infarction . Women may become nauseated, feel lightheaded or dizzy, break out into a cold sweat, and develop clammy skin. They may also experience significant, generalized weakness. When these symptoms occur in the absence of an infection or fever, they may indicate a serious cardiovascular problem.
It is indeed possible for younger women to experience pain, tightness, burning, or squeezing in the chest during a heart attack. However, they are more likely to report pain or discomfort in other areas of the body. These include the upper back and abdomen, one or both arms, neck, and jaw.
The cardiology specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks have made it their mission to save the lives of heart attack victims. When a suspected heart attack victim arrives at the emergency room of our heart hospital, our highly trained providers immediately initiate protocols to confirm the diagnosis and begin life-saving interventions. Please call 911 now for emergency medical assistance or contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746 for general health information.
You may already know that you can reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack by exercising regularly, making healthy dietary choices, and avoiding smoking. But did you know that the amount of sleep you get each night can also affect your heart health? Cardiology research suggests that people who experience sleep deprivation have an increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Sleep apnea, a serious type of sleep disorder, is also a significant risk factor of cardiovascular disease. To manage your cardiology risk factors, you can consider Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center to be your partner in wellness.
Understanding the Link Between Sleep and Heart Health
The connection between poor sleep duration and an increased risk of heart attack is complex and multifaceted. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of obesity due to hormonal imbalances. In turn, obesity can contribute to the conditions that set the stage for a heart attack. Additionally, individuals with insomnia may not get the long stretches of deep sleep that the body needs to lower blood pressure and heart rate. This places excess stress on the heart. Furthermore, some people have sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes the patient to cease breathing while asleep. The brain senses the lack of oxygen and rouses the individual from sleep. A person with sleep apnea may cycle through periods of waking and sleeping dozens of times each night. As a result, sleep apnea increases the risk of high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and other heart problems.
Improving Your Quality and Duration of Sleep
If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, you might consider talking to your physician about your treatment options. For some people, lifestyle changes are sufficient to get a good night’s sleep. Others may need medical intervention. To increase your chances of getting enough restful sleep, consider limiting caffeine, establishing a regular sleep/wake schedule, and setting a comfortable temperature in your bedroom.
Prevention is always preferable, but if you do suffer a heart attack, the cardiology team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center will make every effort to improve your outcome. From exceptional emergency room services to preventive and interventional cardiology, you’ll find comprehensive medical care at our hospital in Thousand Oaks. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746.