Symptoms of Heart Disease
1. Chest Pain (Angina)
The sensation of pressure and tightness in the anterior part of the chest, and especially the pain that is triggered by exertion or physical activity and disappears completely at rest, gives the patient and the doctor a clue to heart disease. This pain can sometimes spread or is felt mainly in the left shoulder, the inside of the left arm, the neck, the lower jaw and between the scapulae (shoulder blades). These also usually occur with exertion or physical activity (e.g., walking, running) and are relieved by rest (within a short period of 5 minutes). However, if the same pain occurs while sitting, eating, or sleeping, this is a sign of more serious heart disease (myocardial infarction). This situation requires an immediate ambulance ride to the nearest cardiac center or hospital emergency department. Since it is a life-threatening situation, the most effective intervention can be made in hospitals.
2. Shortness of Breath
It is the sensation of breathing rapidly and yet not being able to breathe easily (dyspnea/air hunger) when walking or running. As with symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath can also occur at rest and may be a sign of serious heart disease. However, some lung diseases (such as asthma and emphysema) can cause similar symptoms, and it can be very difficult to detect whether the actual cause is from the heart or the lungs. In such cases, it may be necessary for a cardiac surgeon to perform further tests (and sometimes even work with a pulmonologist) to determine the patient’s true problem.
It is a sensation of palpitations felt in the chest, where the heart is located, as a result of a sudden increase in heart rate (e.g., 100-300 beats per minute) or a decrease (e.g., 30-40 beats per minute) or due to irregular heartbeats.
It is a condition of sudden loss of consciousness, falling to the ground and regaining consciousness after a short time, usually while standing. It may be a sign of very serious heart disease or may be due to many other less serious causes.
5. Swelling in the Feet (Edema)
It is a swelling due to excess fluid in both ankles, the forefoot, or the front of the lower leg. It may be due to advanced heart failure and liver and kidney disease. This must definitely be examined.