If you feel a sudden chest pain, ask yourself how it feels. You may think it’s only indigestion, a muscle cramp or heartburn, but these are also symptoms of more serious conditions. Especially if it feels like a weight is squeezing your heart, either call 9-1-1 or get to a medical professional as soon as you can. Chest pain doesn’t always signal a life-threatening condition, but do yourself a favor by visiting the best cardiologist in NYC for a diagnosis. If it’s nothing serious, you can stop worrying. If it is a heart condition, you’ve come to the right place: New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center.
While there are many reasons for pain in your chest, the type of pain you feel provides important clues to its cause. If you feel a dull ache in your chest that sharpens when you twist, it may be a pulled muscle. If it feels like something pressing on your chest, it may be heart trouble. Whatever your chest pain feels like, find the best cardiologists at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center.
If your pain originates in your heart or lungs, you’re in a potentially life-threatening situation. That’s why you must get to a chest pain doctor who has the tools and experience to accurately and quickly diagnose your condition. When time is of the essence, you need urgent treatment, especially if your chest pain is accompanied by:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Cold, clammy sweating
- Jaw pain
- Dizziness or nausea
- Pressure in your chest or what you think is indigestion
- Radiating pain to your neck, jaw, back, shoulders or either arm
- Sharper pain when coughing, moving or deep breathing
Cardiac Causes of Chest Pain
When you arrive at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, the focus is on heart ailments. If it turns out you have a heart problem, that’s the most important care you need. Otherwise, you’re referred to another chest pain specialist, such as a pulmonary doctor. Chest pain ailments involving your heart include:
Your coronary arteries supply your heart with the blood and oxygen it needs to stay strong. If you have coronary artery disease, also known as clogged arteries, deposits of fat and cholesterol have narrowed those arteries. Clogged coronary arteries reduce the flow of blood to your heart. This disease weakens your heart and causes a pain that feels like a tightening vice gripping your heart. It can also masquerade as heartburn or indigestion. Get to your chest pain doctor right away if you feel this sensation.
When You Don’t Have Coronary Artery Disease
Even if your coronary arteries are strong and clear, other issues may be plaguing your heart. Only the appropriate treatment can relieve your chest pain, and only your chest pain specialist can figure out what’s causing your pain. Some other heart-related causes of chest pain include:
- Pericarditis. With this condition, the lining around your heart is irritated and inflamed. The symptoms are similar to those of coronary artery disease, so don’t hesitate getting attention. Although a viral infection can cause pericarditis, it may also be a sign of a heart attack.
- Aortic disease. Like coronary artery disease, aortic disease is potentially fatal. Aortic disease can split or balloon your aorta, which is the artery through which blood leaves your heart. Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder, is one of the causes of aorta disease.
- Heart failure. Congestive heart failure refers to a condition that leaves your heart too weak or too stiff to efficiently pump enough blood to the rest of your body. Leading up to heart failure, your heart has to work harder to keep the normal amount of blood flowing through your body.
If it’s not your heart that’s causing your pain, you may still need medical attention for pulmonary disease, gastrointestinal disease or even musculoskeletal disease, although it’s rare. Depending on your diagnosis, you may need chest wall pain treatment or pleuritic chest pain treatment. Both are serious and painful conditions.
Testing for a Heart Condition
Your chest pain specialist at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center takes you through several tests, as necessary, to find the source of your pain. A correct diagnosis is the first step to successful treatment. The tests your Manhattan cardiologist may use for diagnosis include:
- Electrocardiogram. This simple test measures the electrical activity of your heart. It highlights specific problems, such as an irregular heartbeat.
- Echocardiogram. Using soundwaves, this test provides a picture of your heart in action. Your chest pain doctor can identify heart issues such as heart valve disease or even a previous silent heart attack in an echocardiogram.
- Stress test. You walk or run on a treadmill for this test, which measures how well your heart responds to physical exertion. Electrodes are attached to your skin before a stress test.
- Coronary Calcium CT Scan. This imaging test gives your chest pain specialist a cross-section view of your heart, which can show clogged arteries and other soft-tissue problems.
These tests are painless and non-invasive. You may not need all four, as your cardiologist in NYC stops after finding the source of your pain. Follow your doctor’s instructions to learn what to do to alleviate your chest pain and return to your normal routines.
If you have any questions for the best in class NYC cardiologist or would like to schedule a consultation or appointment please feel free to contact Dr. Steven Reisman of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center and indicate which Manhattan office (Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, or Wall Street / Financial District) you would like to see the cardiologist for a cardiac consultation.