If you’ve been having chest pain, it could be a warning that you’re heading for a heart attack. If you’re concerned about the health of your heart, the experienced team of board-certified cardiologists at COR Healthcare Medical Associates in Torrance, San Pedro, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, California, can help. They have considerable expertise and experience in diagnosing heart conditions as well as treating and helping to prevent heart attacks. Call either Los Angeles office today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
A heart attack happens when the blood flow around your heart is severely restricted or completely blocked. Your heart needs oxygen in the blood to function. Without it, the muscle can deteriorate and start to die.
A heart attack causes chest pain and unpleasant feelings in your chest like:
Other symptoms that can accompany chest pain include:
You might also get pain or discomfort in your arms, jaw, back, neck, or stomach.
The cause of most heart attacks is coronary artery disease. A buildup of cholesterol and other substances in your blood causes plaque to form that sticks to the insides of the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis.
When a heart attack strikes, the plaque breaks up, and cholesterol flows down the artery. The place where the rupture happens forms a blood clot. The blood clot can block blood flow through your coronary artery causing ischemia, which means your heart is being starved of oxygen.
A heart attack doesn’t have to be fatal, and many people recover from a heart attack and go on to lead a full life.
Your heart muscle starts to heal once the acute phase of the heart attack is over. It can take several months for the heart to heal fully, and it’s possible that scar tissue might form if there’s permanent damage to your heart.
It’s the extent of the damage and scarring that affects how well your heart works after it heals. The amount of scar tissue and where it is can cause loss of pumping function. Your cardiologist at COR Healthcare Medical Associates can advise you on the extent of the damage to your heart and what it means.
Making changes to your lifestyle is essential if you want to help your heart to grow strong and prevent another heart attack. You’re likely to have coronary artery disease, which means you need to look at bad habits like smoking and lack of exercise.
It’s also important to make sure that you watch your weight and eat a healthy, balanced diet. You might need to take medication to help prevent future attacks.
If you’re concerned about your heart health or want to arrange a screening for coronary artery disease, call COR Healthcare Medical Associates today or book an appointment online.