What Happens During a Heart Attack

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What Happens During a Heart Attack?

During a heart attack, the blockage in the artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart muscle. Without oxygen, the heart muscle begins to die within minutes. The longer the blood flow is blocked, there will be an adverse impact on the heart muscle. The symptoms of a heart attack can vary, but some common signs include the following:

Chest Pain or Discomfort

Chest pain or discomfort

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath

Nausea or vomiting

Nausea or vomiting



Pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back

Pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back

Lightheadedness or dizziness

Lightheadedness or dizziness

If you experience the symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.

Occurrences of Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs due to the blockage in the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. Plaque build-up usually causes a blockage, a fatty substance accumulating in the arteries over time. The plaque buildup can cause the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the heart.

As per World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, are one of the leading cause of death globally, accounting for 17.9 million deaths annually. In India, cardiovascular diseases are also a leading cause of death, accounting for 28% of all deaths.

How to Prevent Occurrences of Heart Attack

Fortunately, some steps are taken to reduce the risk of heart attacks and prevent their occurrence. Some of these are as follows: 

Maintain a healthy diet

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet is the most effective way to prevent heart attacks. A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It would help if you avoid intake of food items rich in saturated and trans fats, salt, and added sugars.

It is also essential to watch your portion sizes and limit your intake of processed and fast foods. A healthy diet helps maintain weight by reducing extra pounds, blood pressure, and bad cholesterol levels. All these factors can help reduce your risk of heart attacks.

Regular Excercise

Regular Excercise

Regular exercise is another effective way to prevent the occurrence of heart attacks. Exercise, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels to maintain a healthy weight. Perform a workout for at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week, as it will give fruitful results in significantly reducing the risks of a heart attack.

You can choose any exercise you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or dancing. If you are new to exercise, slowly and gradually increasing your intensity over time is essential.

Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, and quitting is one of the best ways to prevent their occurrence. Smoking damages the blood vessels and accelerates atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks.

If you are a smoker, quitting as soon as possible is essential. The timely consultation you’re your healthcare provider about smoking cessation methods, such as nicotine replacement therapy, medications, or counselling.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress can hurt your heart health, and it is essential to manage your stress levels to prevent heart attacks. You can try stress-management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or tai chi.

It is also important to prioritize self-care activities, such as getting enough sleep, spending time with loved ones, and engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

Manage Your Chronic Conditions

Manage Your Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can increase your risk of heart attacks. It is essential to manage these conditions with the help of your healthcare provider.

You can manage these conditions through lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, as well as medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Get Regular Check-Ups

Get Regular Check-Ups

Timely medical check-ups with your healthcare provider are essential to prevent heart attacks. Your healthcare provider can check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other important markers of heart health.

They can also help you manage any chronic conditions that you may have and provide guidance on lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of heart attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is at risk for a heart attack?

Anyone can have a heart attack, but certain risk factors increase the chances of having one, including age, family history of heart disease, high blood pressure & cholesterol level, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

What can be done to prevent a heart attack?

There are several steps taken to reduce the risk of having a heart attack, such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and getting regular check-ups with a healthcare provider.

What should I do if I suspect I have a heart attack?

Call emergency services immediately if you suspect you have a heart attack. It’s essential to seek medical attention right away, as prompt treatment can help to reduce the damage to the heart muscle and improve the chances of survival.

What treatments are available for a heart attack?

The treatment for a heart attack will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s overall health. Some common treatments may include medications to help dissolve blood clots and reduce the workload on the heart, procedures to restore blood flow to nature, such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, and lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk of future heart attacks.

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Disclaimer: The information presented by Boston Scientific Corporation is for educational purposes only and does not recommend self-management of health issues. The information should not be treated as comprehensive and does not intend to provide diagnosis, treatment or any medical advice. Individual results may vary and hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.