It can be hard to tell the difference between the two, but it’s vital you know so you can help the person as well as possible.
Either can happen anytime and anywhere to anyone and there are some distinct differences you can watch out for, despite deceiving similarities. In a heart attack, for example, there is a prickly sensation in the left arm whereas in a panic attack the sensation spreads to the other arm, including fingers and legs. However, keep in mind that the best option always is to seek medical help immediately in either case if you’re not sure as time is of the essence!
You can feel your heart racing as well as a stinging pain in the chest… Is it a heart attack or….?
Symptoms shared by both conditions are heavy, uneven breathing, unbearable chest pain, an unpleasant prickly sensation, sweating and nausea.
To add to the confusion, a heart attack can also cause a panic attack and people may think it’s just a panic attack when it’s actually a much more alarming condition, a heart attack.
First, we take a look at what happens in a heart attack and how to recognize it.
- A heart attack – what happens?
The coronary arteries provide the muscles of the heart with a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood for the heart to work properly. If, for any reason, the heart muscle does not get this critical blood supply, it becomes starved for oxygen and will eventually die, which leads to a heart attack.