If something was wrong with your heart, would you know how to recognise it? Not all heart problems come with clear warning signs.
1. Chest discomfort
Chest discomfort is one of the most common signs of a heart condition. Feeling pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest could be a sign of a blocked artery or a heart attack. The discomfort will usually last longer than a few minutes and can happen when you're at rest or while you're doing something physical.
It’s also worth noting that you can have a heart problem without chest pain, this is especially true for in women.
2. Pain that spreads to your arm
3. Feelings of nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or pain in stomach
4. Pain in throat or jaw
5. Feelings of dizziness or light-headedness
There are a lot of reasons as to why you may feel faint or lose your balance. Maybe you didn’t have enough to eat or drink, or you stood up too fast.
But if you suddenly feel unsteady and you also have chest discomfort or shortness of breath it could mean that your blood pressure has dropped because your heart isn't able to pump the way it should, and you should call the emergency services right away.
6. Feelings of exhaustion
If you suddenly start to feel exhausted, fatigued, or winded after doing something you’ve had no problem doing in the past, such as climbing the stairs or carrying shopping bags, make an appointment with your doctor right away.
Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness, sometimes for days at a time, can be a symptom of heart disease, especially for women.
7. Swollen legs, feet or ankles
Swelling in these areas could be a sign that your heart doesn’t pump blood as effectively as it should. When the heart can't pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and it causes bloating. Heart failure can also make it harder for the kidneys to remove extra water and sodium from the body, which can lead to bloating.
If you experience swelling in your legs, feet or ankles you should contact your doctor to rule out any causes for concern.
Snoring is of course normal and many people snore. However, snoring loudly and sounds of gasping or choking are a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for brief moments several times at night while you are still sleeping. It puts extra stress on your heart.
If you have reason to believe that you are experiencing sleep apnea, contact your doctor to check whether you need a sleep. If you do, you may need a CPAP machine to smooth out you’re breathing while you sleep.
9. Irregular heartbeat
10. Lingering cough
Critical Illness Cover for heart conditions
Heart problems can still occur even when all efforts are made to reduce the risk. Having critical illness insurance in place means that you are covered for treatments required for a number of heart problems. These include treatment for:
- Coronary artery angioplasty/stenting
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
- Major vascular surgery
You can choose to cover yourself, you and your partner, your children or your whole family with critical illness cover. You can also choose cover to be in place overseas only or both overseas and in-country. When it comes to making a claim for treatment you can also choose between accessing medical case management service and treatment benefits or a lump sum payment.
Find out more about Avenue, our International Critical Illness Insurance plan and get a quote from our expert team today.