How To Tell If Your Chest Pains Are Serious
Chest pains are often unpleasant, but they can also be very serious, which is why it’s important to tell the difference between the type of chest pain that needs medical attention and the type that should be ignored. Here are some things to look out for when trying to discern between the two types of chest pain.
1) It’s Not Heartburn
The most common chest pain you’ll experience is an attack of heartburn (or, for non-Americans, what we call acid indigestion). Heartburn—which can make you feel like your chest is on fire—is never a symptom of something serious. It’s usually triggered by overeating, stress, or lying down after eating. Nasty as it can be, it’s harmless and will go away on its own. (The same goes for acid reflux.)
2) Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of conditions. The best way to know for sure if your shortness of breath is potentially serious, though, is to see a doctor who can perform a physical exam and run some tests. This will help determine if your shortness of breath has an underlying cause that needs treatment or if it’s not significant and you should simply monitor it and take precautions until it clears up on its own.
3) Pain Getting Worse When Breathing In
One of the classic warning signs of a heart attack is chest pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath. If your chest pains are getting worse when you breathe in, call 911 immediately. You’re probably having a heart attack.
4) Pain Getting Worse When Breathing Out
The first question to ask yourself is: Are these chest pains unusual for me? If you’ve never had any kind of heart issue before, and your pain is radiating into your jaw or shoulder, don’t ignore it.
5) Unusual Symptoms
At first glance, chest pains seem rather self-explanatory. You feel pain in your chest. However, there are several things that you should pay attention to when suffering from chest pains. Chest pain is more than just an achy feeling in your body. Check out these unusual symptoms of a heart attack