It is important to know the difference between typical vs atypical chest pain. While typical chest pain can be harmless, atypical chest pain can be fatal. It is a priority to educate yourself so you know when to be concerned.
Typical vs Atypical Chest Pain
Chest pain, also called angina, is present in many ways. After excessive exertion such as exercise, you can experience pain. High stress or emotional distress is another cause. First, typical chest pain presents itself as pain or discomfort. You usually feel this pain because of the previously mentioned reasons; from stress or exercise. However, you can usually cure the pain with rest. If you are experiencing atypical, or abnormal chest pain, you should seek medical assistance. These symptoms present as pain in the left arm and neck, and shortness of breath.
When to Call A Doctor
Some chest pain or soreness of the arm or neck is normal. You know what is normal for you. Both arms will be sore post-workout and you may have chest pain from stretching the chest cavity. If you are experiencing atypical chest pain quickly evaluate yourself. Pain in the left arm and neck, shortness of breath, and abnormal tightening of the chest are concerning. When these symptoms are followed by lightheadedness, nausea, or ringing in the ears, immediately call 911.
Chest Pain and AFIB
If you experience chest pain of any kind that seems abnormal, visit a doctor. Chest pain is also a symptom of Atrial Fibrillation or AFIB. AFIB is when your heart beats irregularly. This will lead to many other conditions when left untreated.
Causes and Treatments
The cause of AFIB ranges from smoking to drinking caffeine. These things can disrupt the electrical pathways to your heart causing an irregular heartbeat. When these pathways are disrupted, scar tissue can form and cause blockages. This will eventually lead to heart attacks and more when left untreated. Heart attacks can cause further arrhythmia which may lead to another heart attack. Therefore, the cycle can be fatal if a doctor does not evaluate and treat the cause. The treatments can be as simple as lifestyle changes. Although it may seem difficult to change a habit such as drinking caffeine or smoking, it is necessary. The alternative may be invasive surgery, a pacemaker, or a defibrillator.