Posted by: Mary | 2009-07-07

Heart attack or Panic?

How do you tell the difference between a heart attack and a panic attack?

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Our expert says:
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Psychologist: The chest pain from a heart attack is focused on the center of the chest and is accompanied by a crushing sensation or feeling, as if a heavy weight is sitting on top of your chest. It is usually persistent, and it may radiate to the left arm, neck or back. It also lasts longer than 5 - 10 minutes. Heart attack victims don't generally hyperventilate when having a heart attack either.

With a panic attack the chest pain is localized over the heart and described as a sharp pain which comes and goes. The pain usually intensifies with breathing in and out, and pressing on the center of the chest. Panic attack may cause nausea, but it is unlikely to cause vomiting which can be observed with a heart attack. Panic symptom only typically last for 10 minutes. If they are lasting for a long time, it is typically another panic attack. Trained breathing exercises and knowledge of breathing helps with panic and enables an individual to be aware of the process of having a panic attack.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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