What is Silent Heart Attack?
– So what is a “silent heart attack”?
Actually, the heart attack which does not always have symptoms or has few, if any is called a silent heart attack.
You may never suffer from any symptoms like central chest pain, shortness of breath or cold sweats. So here you will not get any warning before the heart attack. Sometimes a silent heart attack can be mistaken for nausea, indigestion or muscular pain.
In short, the heart attack which happens actually without the person knowing it is called “Silent Heart Attack”
In medical terms, it is also called Silent Myocardial Ischemia (SMI).
What are the Causes?
Actually, the symptoms are produced in heart attack are due to damage in heart muscle. It usually happens when there is a build-up of plaque in any or both of the coronary arteries. And this causes ischemia (absence of blood flow) to the heart muscles. As a result scarring and damage to heart muscle occurs. Because the heart cannot perform its functions properly and problems start arising.
Which are the Symptoms of Silent Heart Attack?
Study shows that about 20% of heart attacks go silent until a good time is over after the event.
Symptoms of a “typical heart attack.”
Eventually, the majority of the people who are developing a heart attack feels that something wrong is happening in the body.
Typically, these people experience extremely intense chest discomfort to severe chest pain. Central chest pain is the most common presentation of a heart attack. Although the pain can be “atypical”.You can feel pain in the shoulders, back, neck and even in fingers, instead of the chest. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, breaking out of intense cold sweat. Sometimes you may have a feeling of impending doom.
How some heart attacks are “silent”?
There are numerous reasons why some peoples may suffer from a heart attack without definite symptoms. They are-
- Some people may have a very high tolerance for pain or high pain threshold and literally do not “notice” symptoms and feelings that would be tough for the rest of us to ignore.
- Certain diseased conditions, especially Chronic kidney disease and Diabetes, can badly affect those nerves which carry pain impulses. As a result, the symptoms of chest pain or a heart attack may get blunted.
- In the case of some people, blockage of blood supply to the heart may produce some atypical symptoms. Instead of suffering from angina instead they may suffer from shortness of breath; which is called Dyspnea, mild weakness, or other symptoms that many of us would not instantly relate to our heart. “Atypical” symptoms are usually more common in case of female than male.
- In the case of some people, especially when the signs and symptoms are relatively less severe, are simply pretty good at ignoring the symptoms. Rather they just brush them off thinking due to heartburn, cold or simple indigestion.
- Sex and age are usually associated with these silent heart attacks. Actually, heart attacks are more likely to be silent in case of older people. In fact more than 75 percent of them. Again male is more sufferer from these silent heart attacks than female.
If you sum up all those reasons up, you will find that almost one out of five heart attacks appears to be a silent one.
The Risk Factors
Ultimately the risk factors for a “silent heart attack” and those for a heart attack with symptoms are similar. And the Risk factors eventually include-
- Family history of heart disease
- Chewing tobacco or smoking
- Elderly age
- High level of cholesterol
- Hypertension(High blood pressure)
- Chronic or persistent kidney disease
- Excessive overweight
- No or lack of exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Eating junk food
- Persistent lack of sleep
- Excessive consumption of pain killer drugs like NSAID’S