Chest pain is a common symptom that many people experience at some point in their lives. While some chest pain is nothing to worry about and can be managed at home, there are times when it's important to seek emergency care. Not all chest pain is a sign of a heart attack, but it's always better to err on the side of caution. Today's blog will share five instances when you need to seek emergency care for chest pain.
Chest Pain That Comes on Suddenly and Severely
If you experience sudden and severe chest pain, it's important to seek emergency care right away. This type of pain could be a sign of a heart attack, which requires immediate medical attention. Sometimes, the symptoms of a heart attack can be subtle, such as pain that feels like pressure or tightness in the chest. Additional symptoms may include numbness or tingling in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Chest Pain Accompanied by Other Symptoms
If you experience chest pain along with other symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting, you should seek emergency care. These symptoms could be a sign of a serious problem, such as a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or pneumonia. Getting prompt medical attention could be the difference between life and death.
Chest Pain That Doesn’t Go Away With Medication
If you've taken over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen and the pain persists or worsens, it's time to seek medical attention. This could be a sign that the underlying cause of your chest pain is something more serious, such as a heart attack or angina.
Chest Pain Following Physical Exertion
If you experience chest pain during or after physical exertion, such as exercise or heavy lifting, you should seek medical attention. This type of chest pain could be a sign of angina, which is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. Angina is not as urgent as a heart attack, but it still requires prompt medical attention.
Chest Pain Accompanied by a Known Risk Factor for Heart Disease
If you have a known risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease, you should seek medical attention if you experience chest pain. A doctor can evaluate your symptoms and determine if you're at risk for a heart attack or other serious heart-related condition.
Contact a doctor for more information about emergency care services.