Panic and Heart Attack Symptoms – How to Tell the Difference

Panic and heart attack symptoms have similarities. It is easy to mistake a heart attack for a panic attack. Chest pain is one shared symptom that can cause confusion. This article will discuss the symptoms of both. It will also cover how they are different. You will get the information you need to tell the difference.

Panic and heart attack symptoms both could include chest pain, tingling, nausea and difficulty breathing. To make things even more confusing a panic attack could be triggered by a heart attack, but it would not be the direct cause. Now we will cover the symptoms and how they differ.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest pain if present, is described as crushing feeling. The pain is usually in the middle of the chest and may go down the left arm or into the back. It is not effected by breathing and lasts more than five minutes. Tingling is commonly limited to the left arm. In a panic event the tingling covers the whole body. There may be a feeling of shortness of breath but there is no hyperventilation. Breathing does not make any chest pain worse.

Panic Attack Symptoms

During a panic episode the pain is usually described as sharp and is made worse by pressing on it. Pressing on a cardiac attack pain has no effect. During panic breathing makes the pain worse, but it is usually gone within ten minutes. Breathing too rapidly or deeply precedes most panic attacks. This is called hyperventilation. There is commonly a tingling sensation covering the entire body and not limited to the left arm.

Because of the similarity between heart and panic attack symptoms people seek medical attention for the latter only to find they were experiencing the former. Panic episodes are feelings and they can not kill you or even do physical harm. If the pain has not subsided in ten minutes, physicians recommend seeking medical attention.