Be heart smart
Heart disease is a chronic health condition and, like any health problem, it can bring uncertainty and change into your daily life. You can react to these changes in different ways. Research tells us that learning about your risk factors, taking charge of your heart health, and staying involved in your health care will help you continue to do the things that are important to you.
It’s never too early to start caring for your heart. Every day decisions you make about how active you are, what you eat and drink, and how you manage stress can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Heart attack warning signs
Chest pain isn’t always ‘pain’. You may experience chest heaviness or pressure, a squeezing sensation or fullness or other discomfort such as a burning sensation. These symptoms can occur when the heart muscle does not receive enough blood and oxygen. The ‘pain’ is a warning sign that one or more of the heart blood vessels (arteries) could be narrowed or blocked. If symptoms continues and the blood flow to the heart slows or stops, parts of the heart muscle can become permanently injured or even die, if not treated. This is called a heart attack. The length of time the blood flow is blocked or stopped will determine the degree of permanent damage to the heart muscle.
Thousands of Canadians die from heart attacks every year because they did not call for medical treatment quickly enough. Learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack so you can react quickly to save a life.
Chest pain, heaviness or pressure, a squeezing sensation or fullness or other discomfort such as a burning sensation.
A pain or aching in areas above your waist (neck, jaw, shoulder, arm or arms and back)
You may feel short of breath, feel lightheaded, sick to your stomach (nausea) or sweaty
The road to recovery after a heart attack
Being diagnosed with a heart attack can be a difficult time for you and your family. Your success during your road to recovery depends heavily on how your risk factors are managed once you go home. While in hospital, you may be referred to a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program within your area. These programs reduce your chances of having another heart attack by providing resources, education, and hands on learning opportunities to best assist you in making goals to maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle once you have left the hospital.
What services are available?
Learn more about the cardiac services and programs available in Interior Health.