Panic Attack vs Heart Attack - Louisville

Dec 5, 2019
Health Equity

Understanding the Differences

A panic attack and a heart attack can both be terrifying experiences. However, it's crucial to understand the differences between them to ensure proper care and management. Panic attacks are related to anxiety disorders, while heart attacks are a result of cardiovascular issues.

Panic Attack Symptoms

Panic attack symptoms usually come on suddenly and reach their peak within minutes. These symptoms can include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling of impending doom

Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart attack symptoms often develop gradually and may persist for several hours or more. Some common signs include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort, often described as heavy pressure
  • Pain radiating to the left arm, jaw, or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or indigestion
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Extreme fatigue

Causes and Risk Factors

Panic attacks are typically triggered by stress, anxiety, or specific phobias, whereas heart attacks result from a blockage in the coronary arteries. Common risk factors for panic attacks include:

  • History of anxiety or panic disorders
  • Family history of panic attacks
  • Excessive stress or chronic worrying
  • Substance abuse

Risk factors for heart attacks include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease

Treatments and Management

Panic Attack Treatments

Managing panic attacks often involves a combination of therapy and medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify and modify their thought patterns contributing to anxiety. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines may also be prescribed.

Heart Attack Treatments

Heart attack treatment focuses on quickly restoring blood flow to the heart. This can involve medications like aspirin, clot-busting drugs, or procedures such as angioplasty and stenting. Lifestyle changes, including a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication adherence, are crucial for long-term management.

Seeking Medical Assistance

If you experience chest pain or discomfort, it is important to seek immediate medical help. While panic attacks are not life-threatening, heart attacks require urgent medical attention, as they can be fatal if left untreated.

Expert Healthcare Services in Louisville

Norton Community Medical Associates, located in Louisville, offers expert healthcare services for various medical conditions, including panic attacks and heart attacks. Our team of experienced physicians and healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and support to our patients.

With state-of-the-art facilities and a patient-centered approach, Norton Community Medical Associates strives to deliver the highest quality of healthcare to individuals in Louisville and the surrounding areas.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding panic attacks, heart attacks, or any other medical conditions, schedule an appointment with our experienced team today. We are here to help you on your journey towards better health and well-being.

Ashley Oswald
Great information! It's important to distinguish between panic attacks and heart attacks 😊❤️👍
Oct 11, 2023