Saturday, May 18, 2024

Acute Myocardial Infarction Causes, Symptoms & Recovery – N.F Times


Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction is a condition wherein there isn’t enough blood flow to some parts of your heart muscle. Without blood flow, your heart muscles begin to die. If you don’t take the necessary steps to get back the blood flow, it might lead to permanent heart damage or in severe cases, death. According to NHS, “If a large portion of the heart is damaged in this way, the heart stops beating (known as a cardiac arrest), resulting in death.”

Factors That Cause Myocardial Infarction:

High Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure causes additional force against the artery walls, accelerating the wear and tear that eventually leads to atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). Over time, this can cause blockages in the coronary arteries and lead to a heart attack.

High Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a fatty substance necessary for building cells, but excessive amounts, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. This plaque narrows the arteries and increases the risk of heart blockage, potentially leading to a heart attack.

Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco damage the heart and blood vessels, leading to the narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Smoking also decreases oxygen to the heart, increases blood pressure and causes blood clotting, which can lead to heart attacks.

Diabetes

Diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease. High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Obesity

Excess body fat, especially around the abdomen, increases the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Obesity is often associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Regular exercise helps control weight and decreases the likelihood of developing conditions that impact the heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Genetic Factors

A family history of heart disease, especially when it occurs in a parent or sibling at an early age can increase your risk of developing heart conditions. Genetic predisposition can contribute to heart disease risk but lifestyle choices and medical treatment can help reduce some of this risk.

Symptoms:

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the centre or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

How is a heart attack treated?

Treating a heart attack means restoring blood flow to the affected heart muscle as soon as possible. This can happen in a variety of ways, ranging from medication to surgery. Treatment will likely include several of the following methods.

Supplementary oxygen

People having trouble breathing or with low blood oxygen levels often receive supplementary oxygen along with other heart attack treatments. You can breathe the oxygen either through a tube that sits just below your nose or a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. This increases the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood and reduces the strain on your heart.

Medications

These may include:

  • Anti-clotting medications: This includes aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines.
  • Nitroglycerin: This medicine relieves chest pain and causes blood vessels to widen so blood can pass through more easily.
  • Thrombolytic (clot-busting) medications: Providers use these only within the first 12 hours after a heart attack.
  • Anti-arrhythmia medications: Heart attacks can often cause malfunctions in your heart’s normal beating rhythm called arrhythmias, which can be life-threatening. Anti-arrhythmia medications can stop or prevent these malfunctions.
  • Pain medications: The most common pain medication people receive during heart attack care is morphine. This can help alleviate chest pain.
  • Beta-blockers: These medications help slow down your heart rate so your heart can recover from the injury of a heart attack.
  • Antihypertensives: These medications decrease your blood pressure and can help your heart recover from the injury of a heart attack.
  • Stains: These medications help stabilize the plaque in your heart’s blood vessels so that they’re less likely to rupture. They also help reduce cholesterol and the chances of having another heart attack.

Percutaneous coronary intervention

Providers restore circulation to your affected heart muscle with a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty.

Opening your artery with a catheter is critical in restoring blood flow. The sooner that happens, the better the chance of a good outcome. Providers use a metric called “door-to-balloon time” to measure their ability to treat a heart attack. This is the average time it takes for people to undergo PCI after they first come into the emergency room. If you receive PCI, your provider may place a stent at the site of the blockage. The stent helps hold your artery open so another blockage doesn’t happen in the same spot.

Coronary artery bypass grafting

People who have severe blockages of their coronary arteries may undergo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Providers often call this open-heart surgery or bypass surgery.

CABG involves using a blood vessel from elsewhere in your body (usually your chest, arm or leg) to construct a detour for blood. This reroutes blood around one or more blocked artery sections and brings blood to your heart muscle.


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