A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a period of time and part of the heart muscle is damaged. It is also called a myocardial infarction (MI).
Angina is pain or pressure in the chest. It occurs when your heart muscle is not getting enough blood or oxygen. You may feel angina in your neck or jaw. Sometimes you may notice only that you are short of breath.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of yourself after a recent heart attack.
What are the signs and symptoms that I am having angina? Will I always have the same symptoms?
How much activity is okay for me?
Do I need to have a stress test? Do I need to go to a cardiac rehabilitation program?
When can I return to work? Are there limits on what I can do at work?
What should I do if I feel sad or very worried about my heart disease?
How can I change the way I live to make my heart healthier?
Is it okay to be sexually active? Is it safe to use sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis) for erection problems?
What medicines am I taking to treat angina?
If I am taking a blood thinner such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), can I used medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) for arthritis, headaches, or other pain problems?
What to ask your doctor about your heart attack
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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