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Difference Between Heart Attack and Stroke

heart-attackBoth heart attacks and strokes are life and death situations that can cause hospitalization or even death. However, some people confuse the meanings of the terms. Though heart attacks and strokes may arise from the same lifestyle factors, there are fundamental differences between them.

A Heart Attack occurs when blood supply is cut off to a portion of the heart muscles. This may happen due to a clot in one of the arteries that supply the heart with blood. When  blood flow to the heart is obstructed the symptoms of the heart attack are felt by the patient. These may include chest pain, breathlessness etc.

A stroke is a similar thing that happens to a brain. When the supply of blood to the brain stops because of a clot in one of the arteries, it is called a stroke. Unlike a heart attack, in a stroke there is usually no pain. The typical symptoms include a loss in feelings and difficulties in movement. The important thing to understand is that a heart attack takes place in the heart, while a stroke takes place in the brain. A person shows different symptoms for the conditions. Let’s take a look at the typical symptoms that may indicate a heart attack:

Most heart attacks are not the sort you will find in movies. Most start off with a mild pain and tightness in the chest. In fact, the symptoms may be so negligible that a person might be tempted to ignore them altogether. If you feel a discomfort in the middle of the chest, breathlessness or a feeling of being squeezed, get a doctor immediately. While it is possible that your symptoms may not be those of a heart attack, you do not want to lose time in case they are.
You should also be careful if you feel dizzy, experience discomfort around your jaws, arms or shoulders. Other symptoms of a heart attack may include breaking out in a cold sweat, lightheadedness or nausea.

If a patient displays any of the following symptoms, he may be having a stroke:

  • A sudden weakness or numbness in the face arms or legs, particularly those concentrated on a specific side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion or a difficulty to understand or speak.
  • A sudden inability to see in one or both eyes
  • A sudden trouble in doing any one of these- walking, maintaining balance or coordinating movements
  • A sudden and severe headache without a known reason.

Though the conditions are different, they may share common lifestyle factors which cause them in the first place .If you are overweight, a smoker or lack adequate exercise, suffer from high blood pressure and stress, you are more prone to having these life threatening conditions.

In both these cases, it is very important for you to get medical attention as fast as possible. How fast you get aid will determine the extent of the damage and your chances of recovery.

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5 Comments

  1. My sister in law suffer an stroke and now she is in an itensive care I myself have an heart attack in year 200 at 3.45 am I arrived in hospital at 10.00 am after all the test my doctor discove it is a blockade that knock me down would you please explain more clearly betwen stroke and heart attack.

    • check your cholesterol levels
      could be genetics

      heart attack-chest pain,vomiting,confused speech,artery carring blood to heart is blocked by cholesterol

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