A heart attack occurs when part of your heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood. The longer blood flow is cut off to your heart, the greater the damage will be to your muscle.
The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease, a condition where cholesterol builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that carry blood to your heart. The cholesterol hardens over time and blocks your blood flow.
Your risk for a heart attack increases as you age. You may also be at higher risk for a heart attack if you smoke or have uncontrolled high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Coastal Cardiology of Orange County offers preventive heart attack screening services to identify heart issues that could lead to a heart attack. Preventive screenings can help you get the treatment you need before heart damage occurs.
A hallmark symptom of a heart attack is a pain in the center or left side of your chest that lasts for several minutes. The pain can also go away for a period of time before returning.
Other symptoms of a heart attack include:
In women, a heart attack can also cause nausea, vomiting, and unexplained fatigue.
If you have any symptoms of a heart attack, it’s important to call 911 immediately. The faster you can get treatment, the less damage your heart muscle will endure.
If you wait too long for treatment, you may need cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or electrical shock (defibrillation) to restart your heart.
A heart attack may damage your heart muscle. The providers at Coastal Cardiology of Orange County can evaluate the severity of your heart damage and customize a treatment plan to restore its function, so it can pump blood out to your body.
The providers offer a cardiac rehabilitation program that provides resources to improve your heart health. You may benefit from nutritional counseling, stress management services, and exercise recommendations that support your long-term heart health.
Depending on the severity of your heart muscle damage, you may need to take medications. There are also medications available to lower your cholesterol levels and regulate your blood pressure to prevent another heart attack.
To schedule a heart attack consultation, call the Coastal Cardiology of Orange County office nearest you, or book an appointment online today.