The heart is our vital organ without which we cannot live. It is a part of the circulatory or cardiovascular system. The main function of the heart is to pump the blood rich in oxygen and nutrients through the blood vessels to the cells and tissues in different parts of the body. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the heart healthy because it is necessary for our survival.
The heart is made of four chambers. There are two upper chambers, which are called atria, and two lower chambers, which are called ventricles. Therefore, the heart is comprised of left atrium, right atrium, left ventricle and right ventricle. Between these chambers are heart valves.
Unfortunately, the heart can be affected by many disorders and diseases. One of these heart diseases is heart attack. Myocardial infarction is the medical term for the heart attack. This heart condition happens when the heart muscle is damaged or when it dies because it does not get sufficient amount of oxygen. Oxygen is carried from the lungs to the heart through the blood vessels called coronary arteries. When these arteries are blocked, the blood flow is impaired and the heart does not receive the fresh oxygenated blood. Thus heart attack occurs. In the majority of cases, the blocked arteries are caused by the accumulation of fatty materials and cholesterol on the walls of the arteries. Thus, the arteries are either significantly narrowed or completely blocked. This condition of blocked arteries is medically called atherosclerosis. The heart attack may also be caused by blood clotting in the coronary arteries.
Warning signs of heart attack
The most common sign of this heart disease is pain that feels like bad heartburn. In those people who experience a heart attack, a pressure or crushing pain in the chest may appear, and it is usually accompanied by dizziness, sweating, nausea and vomiting. The pain of a heart attack may start in the chest and spread to the jaw, and then to the left shoulder and left arm. Other warning signs of heart attack are tightness in the chest accompanied by shortness of breath, weakness, faintness and lightheadedness. It is very important to go and visit a doctor if any discomfort in the chests appears. It may be a sign of a heart attack or any other heart disease. With a prompt treatment, the further damage of the heart muscle may be stopped.