Most people think of heart attacks as anything but silent. The idea of someone having a heart attack might bring to mind a person who is incredible pain clutching their chest. But, there really is such a thing as a “silent” heart attack. They are much harder to spot but knowing more about them could help you to protect your older family member’s heart.
About Silent Heart Attacks
A silent heart attack is so named because it doesn’t have many, or perhaps any, symptoms that the person notices. In fact, a person can have a silent heart attack without ever knowing it or having any signs of heart disease. They may simply think they are experiencing indigestion or muscle pain. They are often discovered during testing for something else. Experts estimate that about 20% of heart attacks are silent.
Risk Factors for a Silent Heart Attack
There is no difference in risk factors for a silent heart attack as for a classic heart attack. The risk factors are:
- Age – people over the age of 75 are most likely to have a silent heart attack.
- High blood pressure.
- Family history.
- High cholesterol.
- Lack of exercise.
People who have silent heart attacks have a greater chance of going on to have another heart attack, which could lead to death. They are also more likely to have complications, including heart failure.
What Makes Them Silent?
There are many reasons a person may not notice they are having a heart attack. In some cases, the person just has a very high pain threshold or are good at ignoring their symptoms. Also, some medical conditions affect impulses carried by nerves and cause pain sensations to be dulled. Women often have atypical symptoms of heart attack, so they may not recognize what they are experiencing.
Preventing a Silent Heart Attack
The best way to prevent a silent heart attack is to be aware of whether or not the senior has any of the risk factors for them. Managing conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can reduce the chances of a silent heart attack. Also, if your family member is complaining of something not feeling right, talk to a doctor and ask to have them screened for the condition.
Elder care can also help your loved one to prevent heart problems by helping them to lead a healthier lifestyle. Elder care providers can cook heart-healthy meals and snacks. They can also encourage the senior to be more physically active. In addition, elder care providers can remind the senior to take medications to manage conditions that can lead to heart attack.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in The Memorial, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
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