Heart Attack Symptoms
The most common symptoms of a heart attack include chest discomfort; shortness of breath; cold sweat; and possibly even nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. In some cases, no signs or symptoms are present -- this is called a "silent heart attack." Other heart attack symptoms can include pain; discomfort; or numbness in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Heart attack signs and symptoms vary from person to person. In fact, if you have a second heart attack, symptoms may not even be the same as they were for the first heart attack. Some people have no symptoms at all. This is called a "silent heart attack."
The symptoms of angina can be similar to those of a heart attack. If you have angina and notice a change or a worsening of your symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider right away.
It is important to know the warning signs of a heart attack so that you can act quickly to get treatment. Many people who have a heart attack wait two hours or more after their symptoms begin before they seek medical help. This delay can result in death or lasting heart damage.
Heart attack signs and symptoms often include:
- Chest discomfort
- Pain in one or both arms, the left shoulder, neck, jaw, or back
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Other vague symptoms.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Heart attack pain can sometimes feel like indigestion or heartburn (see Heartburn or Heart Attack?).