heart attack

How Does a Heart Attack Occur?

A heart attack occurs when some portion of the heart muscle is blocked and unable to receive oxygen. If the blood flow is not restored at the earliest; that portion of the heart muscle commences to die.

Causes of heart attack

Most heart attacks arise due to Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which is also known as coronary artery disease. In this condition, waxy substance (plaque) accumulates within the arteries, which provide oxygen-laden blood to the heart.

The condition when plaque accumulates is known as atherosclerosis and such accumulation occurs over several years. In due course section of the plaque may open within the artery, which results in clot formed on the surface. If this clot is big, it may completely block the flow of blood through the affected artery.

Delay in the detection and treatment of the block in a timely manner, it may cause the heart muscle to die. The scar tissue replaces the heart tissue. Such heart damage is not always obvious but may result in severe long-lasting issues.

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A rarer reason for a heart attack is a rigorous spasm of the artery. It may cut the flow of blood to the artery. Severe spasms may occur in healthy arteries that are not affected by plaque accumulation.

Heart attacks may be due to other severe health conditions or may result in other medical issues, such as arrhythmia and heart failure. The former is a condition when the heart is unable to pump adequate blood to meet the requirements of the body. The latter condition results in irregular heartbeats. Ventricular fibrillation is a severe and often fatal arrhythmia that must be immediately treated to prevent death. A critical illness insurance policy is very beneficial to meet the expenses to treat such life-threatening conditions.

Symptoms of a heart attack

Quick action is crucial to minimize heart damage and save the patient’s life. It is important to provide treatment immediately when the symptoms arise. Few of the common warnings of anattack are listed below:

  1. Chest pain and discomfort

Most people feel some discomfort in the center or left side of their chest. The discomfort may last for some minutes or may recur in intervals. The patient may feel squeezing, pressure, pain, or fullness. In some cases, it may also feel like indigestion or heartburn.

  1. Shortness of breath

This may occur along with the chest pain or discomfort or may be the only symptom. An individual may be short of breath either while resting or doing some activity.

  1. Discomfort in the upper body

Patients may feel discomfort in one or both their arms, the upper part of the stomach, neck, back, jaw, or shoulders.

  1. Other symptoms

A person suffering from a heart attack may not always feel discomfort or sudden chest pain. Symptoms vary from one person to another and other possible signs may include:

  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Breaking into a cold sweat
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Unusual tiredness or fatigue over several days

Treating a heart attack is expensive and a critical illness policy makes it easier to pay for these costs.

What is a critical illness policy?

Suffering from a severe health condition may be physically as well as emotionally distressing. Moreover, it may be financially difficult if you are not adequately covered. A regular health plan may not cover the expenses and opting for the best critical illness insurance is important.

This kind of insurance policy pays for the treatment costs and compensates for any loss of income. The insurance benefits provide you with the financial means to procure the best treatment without any worries.

Some of the best critical illness policies provide several benefits, such as coverage for a large number of medical conditions and tax benefits under section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Most insurers provide these types of policies and you may refer to an online critical illness insurance comparison table to understand more about various plans. The table will help you understand the premium, inclusions and exclusions, and other terms and conditions to help you make an informed decision.