4 Possible Heart Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Most people don’t know this, but not all heart complications come with distinct warning signs. There is not always that frightening chest clutch to be followed by a fall to the ground like we see in countless films and television shows. In fact, there are heart symptoms that never happen in your chest area, so it’s never easy to tell what’s going on.

“If you’re not sure, get it checked out,” says director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute Charles Chambers, MD.

Vincent Bufalino, MD, an American Heart Association spokesman also says that’s especially true if you are 60 years old or above, or overweight, or have diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “The more risk factors you have,” he says, “the more you should be concerned about anything that might be heart-related.”

The following are some symptoms you should look out for:

4. Chest discomfort.

Chest discomfort is the most common sign that your heart is in danger. If you have an artery that’s blocked or if you’re having a heart attack, you may feel tightness, pain or pressure in your chest area.

According to Chambers, everyone has a different word for that feeling. “Some people say it’s like a burning or pinching feeling,” he says, “others say it feels like an elephant is sitting on them.”

Lasting more than a few minutes, this feeling may happen when you’re doing something physical or even when you’re at rest.

If the pain is very brief, or if the area hurts more if you touch or put pressure on it, it’s probably not your heart, Chamber says. But just to be safe, you should still get it checked by a doctor, he adds. However, if you notice that the symptoms are more severe or won’t go away after a few minutes, you should immediately call 911.

It’s important to note, however, that you can have heart problems and even a heart attack without feeling any chest pain. This is particularly common among women.