Heart disease is a broader term used collectively for different medical conditions such as arrhythmias, angina, coronary artery disease, heart failure, other heart-related infections, and congenital heart disabilities. Sometimes, heart diseases can develop without proper warning signs. It is essential to be aware of the risk factors and early signs of heart disease for early treatment.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Men are at higher risk of developing heart disease. Some of the major risk factors for heart disease, other than smoking, are excessive alcohol consumption, a diet high in saturated fat, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. The more risk factors you have, the more susceptible you are to developing heart disease. For example, a person with diabetes and high blood pressure is in a high-risk zone for heart disease.
Early Signs of Heart Disease
In the early stages, one of the common symptoms you may experience is heart arrhythmias, which can cause difficulty breathing after moderate physical activity such as climbing stairs. It can also cause discomfort in your chest, which can last from 30 minutes to a few hours. Other symptoms that accompany heart arrhythmias are pains in your neck, upper torso, and jaw. Sometimes fainting or dizziness and an irregular heartbeat are also observed.
In case your heart disease is due to narrowing blood vessels, early symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your extremities, irregular heartbeat, and extreme fatigue.
On the other hand, if a heart infection caused your heart disease, you may have a fever, dry cough, and skin rashes.
Common Symptoms of Heart Attack
Heart attacks occur when the heart muscles are deprived of a sufficient amount of blood supply. The most obvious sign of a heart attack in men is squeezing and intense pressure, discomfort, or chest pain. Sometimes, this discomfort may also spread to your arms, neck, back, abdomen, and jaw.
Apart from these, you may also experience the following symptoms during a heart attack:
- Profuse sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty speaking and comprehending others
- Loss of coordination
- Changes in vision
- Intense headache
According to sources, about half of the men who die of a heart attack are not aware of their condition due to unnoticed symptoms. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the early signs of heart diseases to safeguard your cardiac health. Timely treatment, if started in the early stage, increases the treatment's success rate.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes it is difficult to determine if you are experiencing the symptoms of heart disease. So, to be safe, go for regular checkups even if you think you are in excellent health.