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A heart attack is a medical emergency. Call ambulance or your local emergency number if you think you or someone else is having a heart attack.
The average person waits 3 hours before seeking help for symptoms of a heart attack. Many heart attack patients die before they reach a hospital. The sooner the person gets to the emergency room, the better the chance of survival. Prompt medical treatment reduces the amount of heart damage.
This article discusses what to do if you think someone may be having a heart attack.
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that carries oxygen to the heart is blocked. The heart muscle becomes starved for oxygen and begins to die.
Symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person. They may be mild or severe. Women, older adults, and people with diabetes are more likely to have subtle or unusual symptoms.
Symptoms in adults may include:
Changes in mental status, especially in older adults
Chest pain that feels like pressure, squeezing, or fullness. The pain is usually in the center of the chest. It may also be felt in the jaw, shoulder, arms, back, and stomach. It can last for more than a few minutes, or come and go.
Nausea (more common in women)
Numbness, aching, or tingling in the arm (usually the left arm, but the right arm may be affected alone, or along with the left)
Shortness of breath
Weakness or fatigue, especially in older adults and in women
If you think someone is having a heart attack:
Have the person sit down, rest, and try to keep calm.
Loosen any tight clothing.
Ask if the person takes any chest pain medication, such as nitroglycerin, for a known heart condition, and help them take it.
If the pain does not go away promptly with rest or within 3 minutes of taking nitroglycerin, call for emergency medical help.
If the person is unconscious and unresponsive, (or your local emergency number), then begin cpr.
If an infant or child is unconscious and unresponsive, perform 1 minute of cpr, then call ambulance
Do not leave the person alone except to call for help, if necessary.
Do not allow the person to deny the symptoms and convince you not to call for emergency help.
Do not wait to see if the symptoms go away.
Do not give the person anything by mouth unless a heart medication (such as nitroglycerin) has been prescribed.
When to contact a medical professional or your local emergency number immediately if the person:
Does not respond to you
Is not breathing
Has sudden chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack
Adults should take steps to control heart disease risk factors whenever possible.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking more than doubles the chance of developing heart disease.
Keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes in good control and follow your doctor's orders.
Lose weight if obese or overweight.
Get regular exercise to improve heart health. (talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness program.)
Eat a heart-healthy diet. Limit saturated fats, red meat, and sugars. Increase your intake of chicken, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Your health care provider can help you tailor a diet specific to your needs.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. One drink a day is associated with reducing the rate of heart attacks, but two or more drinks a day can damage the heart and cause other medical problems.
There are a lot of ways that tooth enamel (hardest substance in the body) can wear off – decay and erosion being the most common. While decay is an infectious process with bacteria playing a significant role, erosion is nowhere associated with bacteria. The tooth gets ‘eroded’ in small amounts with the various food substances that you eat. These include the sodas that wash down the burgers and pizzas, the various sports drinks that are used to boost performance, the lime and oranges that are constantly sucked, and other acidic and sugary foods.
It does not mean you should not have an occasional soda or a sports drink or a citrus fruit. It is the constant and overuse of these that is damaging. The oral pH goes to a very acidic level (below 5.5) with these which then leads to demineralization of the enamel. The environment that is usually produced by the bacteria is caused by the acidic and sugary foods.
In some cases, acids could come from an internal source too. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease may have the acid coming from the esophagus, which also can lead to erosion.
However, there is nothing to be disheartened about as the lost enamel can be replaced to restore both tooth function and appearance. The most commonly affected teeth are the inner surfaces of the upper incisors and the biting surfaces of the lower molars. The result is tooth sensitivity, darker teeth, and increased chances of tooth decay and fracture.
Repair Mechanisms: Treating erosion has two components to it – to repair the lost tooth structure and to prevent further damage. The second is equally or rather more important than the first one.
Restorations: In mild cases of erosion, the lost tooth structure can be rebuilt with composite resins or glass ionomer cement which usually restores lost tooth structure to its earlier version. Usually done in one sitting, it should not take more than an hour. The results would last longer if further erosion is prevented.
Crowns: In cases where a lot of tooth structure has been lost and the remaining enamel weakened, a new crown will need to be done. This offers protection against further decay and also restores esthetics and function quite effectively.
Avoid overuse of acidic, sugary drinks like sports drinks and aerated beverages.
Avoid sucking on oranges as they prolong the effect of the citric acid on the tooth.
Include toothpaste and rinse with fluoride.
Improve dairy intake, thereby providing sufficient calcium.
Follow oral hygiene habits including brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.
Lost tooth structure unfortunately cannot be regained; however, further loss can be prevented.
If you wish to discuss about any specific dental problem, you can consult a specilized dentist and ask a free question.