A heart attack needs medical attention as soon as possible. It can lead to a cardiac arrest which results in immediate death. What’s the cough that signals you could have the potentially disease condition?
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) states “excessive coughing” could be a symptom of a heart attack.
A new, continuous cough could also be a sign of an infection with Covid-19.
So how does one tell the difference? The answer is revealed in the other symptoms accompanied by the coughing.
- Heart attack symptoms: Three subtle signs of the deadly condition
For instance, “wheezing” may be experienced by someone with a cough that may be having a heart attack.
The NHS define wheezing as a whistling sound when breathing.
This symptom is not associated with a Covid-19 infection.
The BHF adds that some people may experience a sudden feeling of anxiety – similar to a panic attack – when suffering from a heart attack.
Wipe away the idea that a heart attack needs to be a dramatic display of pain.
Chest pain can feel different from person to person. For instance, it’s not uncommon for people to mistake their chest pain for indigestion.
The pain, or discomfort, felt in the chest will occur suddenly and doesn’t go away.
The BHF describes the sensation as “pressure, squeezing or heaviness in the chest”.
The pain may travel across to either arm, or could spread to a person’s neck, jaw, back or stomach.
Some individuals may feel “sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath”.
Heart attack symptoms can persist over a number of days or can come on suddenly and unexpectedly.
It’s also key to dispel the myth that there’s a difference of symptoms for men and women – there isn’t.
- Heart attack symptoms: Signs ‘women should never ignore’
Symptoms are unique to each individual but the symptoms listed above are the most common signs of a heart attack.
BHF stress: “Whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, it’s essential to dial 999 if you have symptoms that could be a heart attack, or if your heart symptoms get worse.”
It reassures the public: “Don’t delay because you think hospitals are too busy – the NHS still has systems in place to treat people for heart attacks.
“If you delay, you are more likely to suffer serious heart damage and more likely to need intensive care and to spend longer in hospital.”
While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, it’s advised by the BHF to sit down and rest.
If aspirin is available within arm’s reach, do take one and try to stay calm and wait for the paramedics.
A heart attack can also be mistaken for angina – which is pain in the chest caused by coronary heart disease.
It’s important to know how to distinguish between the two, which can be highlighted on the NHF website.
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