How Can You Recognize a Panic Attack or Heart Attack?
Inputs by Dr. Nitin Jagasia, Consultant, Emergency Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.
One can suddenly feel chest pain, shortness of breath, and a tingling sensation running through the body. Is it a heart attack or a panic attack? Both of these can have similar symptoms. Additionally, having a heart attack can cause someone to panic, which may make the situation more confusing for the patient. Regardless, if an individual feels that he/shemay be having a heart attack, he/she should seek emergency medical attention.
Telling the Difference:
What does a Panic Attack feel like?
Panic attacks can sometimes occur unexpectedly or without a trigger,making them scary and easy to confuse with more serious physical health problems.
Here are a few pointers to help you recognize a panic attack –
- It tends to affect the younger generation
- Occurs after triggers such as seeing blood, a serious accident or receiving bad news
- Self-limiting after a few minutes
What does a Heart Attack feel like?
Chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of a heart attack; still, people who are having a heart attack may experience a range of conditions like:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations or racing heart
- Upper body pain (shoulders, arms, back, neck, jaw, teeth, etc.).
- Stomach upset and abdominal pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Hot or cold sweats
- Fainting (more likely in women, the elderly, and people with diabetes)
While the symptoms of these two conditions may sometimes coincide, understanding the differences between them can prove lifesaving. Knowing the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack can be difficult, especially if a person has never experienced the symptoms of either before. But one of the main ways panic attacks are distinguished from heart attacks is by duration — most panic attacks will be over within ten minutes (and often less), while heart attacks can last much longer.
In case of any doubts, consult a medical professional at the earliest.