Treating and Preventing Heart Attacks in Elderly People

Treating and Preventing Heart Attacks in Elderly People

The way we treat our heart reflects in our heart’s health. If you treat it with a good diet, frequent exercise and no smoking, it will remain healthy. But, if you treat your heart poorly with sedentary lifestyle and a cholesterol-filled diet, you are likely to have a heart disease. In serious cases, you will experience a heart attack which takes place if at least one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart is blocked by a build up of substances like cholesterol.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Early symptoms of a heart attack usually arise day or weeks before the person notices some health issues. The earliest symptom is recurrent chest pain felt if a person exerts some force and relieved after having a rest. Also, fatigue and abnormal fluid retention are factors. The person will feel the actual heart attack often after many hours since the heart tissue does not get enough blood and starts to deteriorate or die.

If such symptoms are not detected, the person starts to experience difficulty breathing and numbing or tingling in the shoulder and left arm. Also, the person may become nauseous, sweaty, feel an impending sense of doom and light-headed.

Risk Factors of a Heart Attack

Although congenital heart disease is likely to arise, physicians these days agree that a healthy lifestyle, reduced stress, a balanced diet are major factors to fight heart attacks. Below are the risk factors that increase the possibility of heart attacks.

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke for a long term
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress
  • Family history of heart disease or heart attacks
  • Obesity

Heart Attack Treatment

A heart attack treatment starts with the first symptoms. When your senior loved one feels a heart attack symptom, you must call 911 right away. If he has a doctor-prescribed nitroglycerin, he must take it as directed while awaiting emergency medical transportation. An immediate heart attack treatment is necessary as this can trigger ventricular fibrillation or sudden cardiac arrest. As he arrives at the hospital, he may get medication, undertake a surgical procedure or both. It is imperative to restore blood flow to keep heart tissue healthy and alive.

Physicians will prescribe medications based upon the health history of your loved one, severity of his heart attack and the cause. A number of the medications provided to treat and prevent a heart attack include clot-busters or thrombolytics to keep the flow of blood and aspirin to prevent clotting. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, that often take one of two forms.

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery. This includes bypassing blocked coronary arteries using a segment of healthy blood vessel obtained from another body part of the patient. Often, this surgery takes place after the heart has been able to gain strength.
  • Coronary angioplasty. This involves inserting a catheter that has a balloon tip which inflates to open a blocked artery to increase the flow of blood.

Physicians will usually recommend that rehabilitation starts as the patient is still recovering in the hospital. Rehabilitation includes changes in lifestyle, new medications and stress reductions, often through counseling. Bradford Place, an assisted living facility in Benchmark Court Swansea IL, will assist your loved one while making lifestyle changes.

Heart Attack Prevention

Some of the drugs used for treating a heart attack’s aftermath are also the same drugs used for preventing a heart attack like beta blockers, cholesterol-lowering medications and blood thinners. Additionally, there are angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors which ease the flow of blood to the heart. It is likely that physicians recommend lifestyle changes which include maintaining a healthy diet, performing regular exercise, quitting smoking, consuming alcohol in moderation, having regular checkups, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight as well as monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol.

A heart attack and a sudden cardiac arrest remind us that we are physical vulnerable to diseases that usually result from unhealthy lifestyle choices. These conditions are the heart’s way to tell us that it is important to change our routines if we want to live longer.


Disclaimer

Blogs, content and other media uploaded online are for informational purposes only. Contents on this website should not be considered medical advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit their physician for health-related issues.


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