César R. Molina, M.D., FACC
Cardiologist & Internal Medicine Specialist located in Mountain View, CA
More than 700,000 Americans experience heart attacks each year, with roughly one in four deaths caused by related heart disease. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for most ethnicities in the United States, so it’s highly important to understand the causes and warning signs of heart attacks. At the office of César R. Molina, M.D., FACC in Mountain View, California, Dr. Molina has years of experience treating heart attack victims and helping patients stay heart disease free. To learn more, call to schedule your consultation or book online.
Heart Attack Q & A
What is a heart attack?
Like other organs in your body, your heart needs oxygen to survive. Under normal circumstances, your heart sends and receive blood through your coronary arteries. When these arteries become blocked, your heart can’t receive the oxygen it needs, leading to damage to part or all of the heart. A heart attack refers to the entire process leading to this damage.
What causes a heart attack?
Atherosclerosis is the slow buildup of plaque that leads to a coronary blockage. There are a few factors that can lead to the development of atherosclerosis, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Inflammation from certain diseases, such as arthritis or lupus
You might be at greater risk of suffering a heart attack than others if you have a family history of heart attacks or heart disease, and heart attacks tend to be more common in the older population.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Heart attack symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another, and you might not necessarily recognize when you’re experiencing one. Most heart attack sufferers tend to experience one or several of the following symptoms:
- Pressure, tightness, pain, or squeezing sensation in your chest or arms
- Cold sweat
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
The severity of these symptoms can range from severe to mild. In many cases, warning signs present days to weeks in advance, so it’s important to recognize potential symptoms.
How are heart attacks treated?
If you’re recovering from a heart attack or have a family history of heart attack, Dr. Molina will provide preventive treatment to control the factors leading to atherosclerosis. Preventive treatment often takes the form of medication and lifestyle changes, such as prescription statins or eating less red meat.
If you’re currently experiencing a heart attack, Dr. Molina will immediately administer medication to help regulate blood flow. You might require surgery to restore proper blood flow, which can include an angioplasty, bypass surgery, or a stent procedure. These operations occur in a hospital setting.
If you’ve had a heart attack in the past or have a family history of heart attacks, Dr. Molina at César R. Molina, M.D., FACC in Mountain View, California, can work with you to make the lifestyle adjustments you need to stay healthy. Call to schedule your consultation or book online.