An alarming condition that has been affecting people globally, Myocardial infarction, also popularly known as Silent Heart Attack, has changed the way of health for people. People often don’t even realize or know that they have had a silent heart attack for weeks until they get themselves checked at the best Cardiology hospital. Myocardial infarction happens when a heart attack has a few symptoms that are usually unrelated to it, making it quite tricky to identify. However, a Silent Heart attack also causes similar damage to that of any other heart attack. Let us know more in detail about this cardiac condition here:
Silent or Quiet Heart Attack is a heart condition that has no symptoms or usually has mild symptoms, which are not usually identified by people or people who don’t connect the symptoms to a heart attack. Myocardial infarction usually means that the heart is not getting oxygen, which further deters the condition of the heart. A typical heart attack is caused by a blood clot that keeps blood from flowing through one of the coronary arteries. It may also be caused by a coronary artery spasm that can cut off the blood flow, which is less common. Usually, the symptoms of a heart attack are chest pains and shortness of breath, but in Myocardial infarction, the symptoms that a person may experience are nausea and indigestion.
A heart attack can occur in any state, whether a person is awake or asleep, and is most likely to happen when:
A person has quickly become physically active
Doing something physically active outdoors in cold weather.
A person is going through physical or emotional stress.
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Silent Heart Attack is tricky to identify. On the other hand, a person who is experiencing a typical heart attack knows about the health condition immediately. The symptoms of heart attack usually are angina (chest pain), crushing (chest Pressure) and other symptoms or signs that include rapid heartbeats, radiating pain to the back, jaw, neck, shoulder, or back, vomiting, cold sweat, nausea, and lightheadedness.
With a Mini Heart Attack, all or many of the symptoms that a person usually experiences during the occurrence of a standard Heart Attack might be missing, or you may experience mild symptoms that are often mistaken for conditions such as heartburn. Myocardial infarction is often characterized by the absence of symptoms, i.e. chest pain, which is quite a notable symptom.
It is quite common for young people who think of themselves as less slightly getting Heart attacks and thus overlook their heart health altogether while delaying the treatment or diagnosis at the best hospital in Jaipur for weeks, months and even years. Some of the symptoms that a person’s mind experiences are:
Indigestion, flu, and fatigue
Sore muscles in the chest or upper back
Ache in arms, jaw, or upper back
Myocardial Infarction or Mini Heart Attack can severely damage the heart, just like a typical or more obvious heart attack, as it doesn’t allow oxygen to reach the heart. A person who doesn’t experience any kind of symptoms and may not know that they are having a heart attack may not get the right medical help that can limit the damages of the attack. It can also lead to higher risks, such as heart failure.
As per researchers, a Silent Heart Attack may occur due to some of the major risk factors, including:
In comparison to women, men are more likely to have a silent heart attack by 1.7 times.
People suffering from chronic kidney diseases or are on dialysis are more likely to have a heart attack and Myocardial infarction.
People who are suffering from type 2 diabetes have eight times higher chances of getting a heart attack in comparison to people who don’t.
Obesity, high level of cholesterol, high blood pressure and stress also increases the chances of an attack.
People who have unhealthy lifestyles, do not exercise daily, and consume tobacco are likely to have heart attacks.
Women having preeclampsia during pregnancy or are above 55 of age have higher chances of having an attack.
People with a history of family heart disease or who are infected with Covid-19 can also have a heart attack.
What Types Of Testing Are Used To Identify Silent Heart Attacks?
A silent attack is not recognized when it happens to a person, which is why the delay in diagnosis may also damage the condition of the heart more. Usually, the damage is found months or weeks later when the patient is treated for symptoms such as shortness of breath, swellings of the legs or ankles, fatigue, and irregular heartbeat. If you have uneven pulses or unusual sounds in your lungs, the healthcare provider may need to run some tests to diagnose the condition. A Cardiologist may often use several tests to diagnose a mini heart attack along with a physical examination. This includes:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI)
Exercise Stress Test
Electrocardiogram (ECG/ EKG)
Nuclear Stress Test
If there has been a silent Heart Attack, then that will be signs of abnormal blood flow as well as arterial blockage. With the help of these tests, a cardiologist can detect which part of the heart has been damaged and is not receiving its normal blood supply.
When it comes to the cause of a Silent Heart Attack, it is quite similar to the regular one as it occurs with a build-up of plague in a Coronary artery. This results in spontaneous ruptures, which further leads to the clotting of blood that blocks that artery. The heart muscle of the particular section experiencing blockage will die if the blockage is not cleared. Due to this process, about one in 8 cases face an attack with asymptomatic or subclinical symptoms. There may be various underlying causes that may lead to the occurrence of heart attack. This includes:
A person who is suffering from a medical condition such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and more is more likely to experience the condition due to the damaged nerves that carry pain signals, leading to the muting of angina symptoms.
In comparison to other people, some people may have a level of pain threshold and may not regard their symptoms as lethal. As per the research in 2016, women have higher pain thresholds.
In comparison to men, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and similar symptoms without any kind of notable jaw pain arm, or chest pain.
Due to the missing symptoms of an atypical heart attack, people may not even realize that they are having a heart attack and require immediate cardiac care. A person having a Myocardial infarction should be given immediate treatment just like a regular heart attack. The overall treatment of this type of heart attack may differ depending on the duration of occurrence, i.e. if the attack occurred recently, months, or years ago. For immediate or emergency treatment of the patient having a silent heart attack, a paramedic may give medication to the patient in the ambulance, and the healthcare providers may monitor the patient’s heart and give medicine and oxygen. Some of the treatments that the healthcare provider may include are:
Providing medicine such as Beta blockers that help in preventing arterial blockage, Thrombolytics that help in breaking blood clots, ACE inhibitors that help in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure, Statins that help in lowering cholesterol, and more. ‘
Performing a cardiac bypass surgery in which a blood vessel from another part of the body is taken to create a new path for the blood to circulate in the heart.
Performing minimally invasive surgery such as Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting that accesses the arterial blockage through the help of a vein which is widened and supported with a stent.
Patients suffering from heart attacks may experience long-term health concerns and are more likely to develop the risk of stroke, heart failure, or a second fatal heart attack. Due to the delayed diagnosis, the heart condition may deteriorate, resulting in long-term fatal outcomes. People may not even realize that they have had a silent heart attack until weeks or months after it actually took place. It is important to go on a regular check-up with the Cardiologist if a person even realizes the subtle signs of Myocardial infarction. Apart from that, people who are suffering from several medical conditions should work on their health more so that they can minimize getting an attack. Adopting a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and an active routine is best for better health and well-being.