Knowing the signs that signify when chest pain is serious can help save your life.
Not sure if the pain in your chest is simply a side effect of something you ate or if it's a sign of a serious health problem, such as a heart attack? Here's how to help tell the difference; chest pain is often the sign of something serious if:
• It lasts more than a few minutes. Indigestion can often be relieved, at least in part, by changing your position or giving your body a chance to digest what you've eaten. On the other hand, serious chest pain such as that related to a heart attack will often persist regardless of what you do.
• It spreads to your neck, shoulder and/or arms. Pain or pressure in your chest is one thing, but when the pain radiates to other areas of your body you may well have a serious health problem on your hands.
• Shortness of breath. An extreme feeling of fullness is different from shortness of breath. If you're having difficulty breathing, consider your situation serious.
• It's accompanied by other troubling symptoms. Chest pain may feel similar to indigestion, but other signs can set it apart. Dizziness, nausea and sweating can also be signs of a heart attack.
If you think you or someone you know may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. To learn more about living a heart-healthy lifestyle and spotting the signs of heart trouble, talk with your doctor. To learn about the cardiology services at Medical Center of McKinney, including our Chest Pain Center, visit us online. If you would like help finding a physician, give us a call at 1-855-296-6265.