You might already know that coronary artery disease is a common heart condition. With this disease, the major blood vessels that supply the heart struggle to send enough blood, Oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. Cholesterol deposits in the heart arteries and inflammation are usually the cause of coronary artery disease.
Signs and symptoms of blocked arteries occur when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. If you’re diagnosed with coronary artery disease, reduced blood flow to the heart can lead to chest pain and shortness of breath. A complete blockage of blood flow can cause a heart attack.
Actually, you may feel pressure or tightness in your chest. Some people say it feels as if someone is standing on their chest. The chest pain mostly occurs on the middle or left side of the chest. Keep in mind activity of strong emotions can trigger angina. Luckily, the pain usually goes away within minutes after the triggering event ends.
In some people, especially women, the pain may be brief or sharp and felt in the neck, arm or back. If the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you may feel unusually tired.
Another symptom of blocked arteries you should know about is heart attack. A completely blocked coronary artery will lead to a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing chest pain or pressure, shoulder or arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating. Women tend to have less typical symptoms, such as neck or jaw pain, nausea and fatigue.
So when should you see a doctor? If you suspect that you’re having a heart attack, be sure to immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. For those who don’t have access to emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital. Only drive yourself to the hospital as the last option.
Smoking or having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or a strong family history of heart disease makes you more likely to get coronary artery disease. If you are at a high risk of coronary artery disease, be sure to talk to your health care provider. You may also need tests to check for narrowed arteries and coronary artery disease.
Be sure to watch out for the above and other symptoms of blocked arteries, and seek medical attention where necessary.