Does chest pain always require immediate medical care? Find out more.
When people think about chest pain they often think about a heart attack. After all, chest pain is a classic symptom of this serious and possibly life-threatening condition; however, chest pain doesn’t necessarily mean that you are dealing with a heart attack. Furthermore, your chest pain may not even be heart-related at all. Find out the many causes of chest pain, when to seek emergency medical care, and when to see our West Monroe, LA, cardiologist Dr. Virginia Gonzalez for an evaluation.
Causes of Chest Pain
Chest pain is a common symptom of heart disease. With the growing number of people developing heart disease it’s so important that you see a doctor to rule out heart disease if you are experiencing chest pain of any kind. Heart disease can easily be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
Other cardiac-related causes of chest pain include:
- Angina: a blockage of blood flow to the heart
- Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart muscle
- Pericarditis: inflammation of the tissue around the heart
Of course, there are also non-cardiac-related causes of chest pain too. These causes include:
- Lung infections and conditions: this includes inflammation of the lungs (pleurisy), airway problems (asthma), a blood clot, or a collapsed lung
- Digestive problems: this includes heartburn or inflammation of the esophagus, pancreas, or gallbladder
- Bone and muscle problems: rib fractures, muscle strain, or costochondritis
- Anxiety disorder: sometimes a panic attack can lead to heart palpitations, breathing problems and chest tightness
When to Call 911
There are no clear-cut rules when it comes to determining whether chest pain requires emergency medical attention; however, there are some guidelines that you should follow. Call 911 or head to your nearest emergency room if:
- You feel as if your chest is being crushed
- You have pain, numbness, or weakness that travels to the shoulder, arms, neck, or lower jaw
- You also experience shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- The pain gets worse within 15 minutes
- You feel dizzy or lightheaded
- Your chest pain occurs at rest
- Your symptoms aren’t alleviated by medication (e.g. antacids)
- You experience a rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Your chest pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting
When to See a Cardiologist
If you are experiencing chest pain in West Monroe, LA, the only way to find out what’s going on is to see a heart doctor who will be able to perform the necessary diagnostic tests. A doctor should check out any cases of chest pain as soon as possible.
Nothing is more important than your heart health. If you are dealing with any symptoms or issues it’s important that you have a cardiologist that you can turn to for care. Call Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe, LA, today.