If you think that your loved-one might be experiencing a heart attack, contact his doctor or emergency services right away. Here are some of the signs that you can watch for as his caregiver that can help alert you to trouble.
Discomfort or Pain in the Chest
One of the more common signs of a heart attack is pain or discomfort in the chest around the heart. Your loved-one might feel a sharp, sudden pain or he might experience pressure in his chest that feels like someone is squeezing him tightly. Every heart attack is different, of course, so this isn’t the only sign that you should be on the lookout for.
Pain or Discomfort in Other Areas of the Body
A symptom of heart attack that often gets overlooked is that the upper body itself might experience pain or discomfort rather than the chest. This is called, “referred pain,” and it can be difficult to determine what caused the pain in the event of a mild heart attack. Your loved-one might feel pain in his arms, his back, or even his jaw.
Before or during a heart attack, your loved-one might find it difficult to breathe properly. He might start to gasp or he might simply complain that he’s having a tough time drawing in air. This can often be because the lungs are experiencing some blood loss as the heart attack happens, causing them to be unable to provide enough air to your loved-one’s body.
Light-headedness or Nausea
Your loved-one might also experience symptoms such as feeling lightheaded or feeling nauseated. This can be referred pain from the heart attack itself or it can be due to reduced oxygen levels. Again, your loved-one might experience these symptoms without having significant chest pain.
Breaking out in a Cold Sweat
Due to pain or physiological responses from the rest of his body, your senior might break out in a cold sweat for no reason that you can determine. This can be disturbing and scary to your senior since it can come on suddenly.
Talk to your loved-one’s doctor about their likelihood of experiencing a heart attack. Once you know more about your senior’s personal risk factors, you can make changes, such as exercise, or a different diet plan to help avoid a heart attack.