Acute coronary syndrome is the term used to refer to all conditions brought upon by sudden reduction in flow of blood to heart. It can be used to describe chest pain felt in heart attacks and chest pain felt when engaging in light physical activity or even resting (unstable angina). Often, this condition is only diagnosed in hospitals or emergency rooms since many of their symptoms are akin to those in the case of a heart attack. If you do not treat symptoms of acute coronary syndrome quickly, heart attack may occur.
You must take all symptoms of acute coronary syndrome very seriously. Signs of a heart attack include the following:
- Chest pain feeling like tightness, pressure, or burning lasting for 15 minutes or more
- Pain of similar sensation in other parts of body, like jaw or left upper arm
- Breathing shortness – dyspnoea
- Heavy and sudden sweating –diaphoresis
Causes of Acute Coronary Syndrome
Often, acute coronary syndrome will slowly develop over time through the build-up of plaque in arteries of the heart. Made of fatty deposits, these plaques will make your arteries narrow. Blood flow will be more difficult. Atherosclerosis is the name given to this plaque build-up. Eventually, your heart will be unable to pump sufficient blood to all body parts because of the build-up, causing heart attack or chest pain (angina).
Coronary artery disease is a medical term that’s closely associated with acute coronary syndrome. It refers to heart artery damage or atherosclerosis.
If diagnosed quickly, acute coronary syndrome can be treated. Depending on overall health status, symptoms, and severity of signs, treatment will vary.
When You Should See the Doctor
If you believe that your chest pain is severe and needs emergency help, immediately call for an ambulance to 911. Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.