Heart attacks and strokes are both very serious medical events. Depending on the severity, they can take months to years to recover from. Some individuals never recover at all. Due to the severity of the conditions, it is smart to know some symptoms and signs ahead of time. This week we are exploring both stroke symptoms and heart attack symptoms. Read on to learn what exactly strokes and heart attacks really are as well as the most common stroke symptoms and heart attack symptoms.


The symptoms explored in this article are simply the most common symptom of their respective conditions. If you believe you or a loved one are experiencing a heart attack or stroke, seek medical attention immediately or dial 911.

Heart Attacks Defined

A heart attack occurs when something interrupts the blood flow to the heart. Usually, that blockage is plaque that has formed a clot in the arteries to the heart. Plaque is made up primarily of cholesterol and other fats.

Strokes Defined

A stroke, or brain attack, is when the brain does not get enough blood flow. The restriction occurs either due to a blocked blood vessel, or one that has burst. No matter what causes it, strokes damage the brain, leading to potential long term mental and physical disabilities.

Heart Attack Symptoms

First and foremost is any sort of discomfort in your chest. People have described it in many different ways. Pain, tightness, pressure, burning, and pinching are all the most common descriptors. This is especially common in men. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for women to have a heart attack with zero chest discomfort.

Instead, women’s pain from heart issues tends to settle into the stomach. Nausea, indigestion, or stomach pain take the place of chest discomfort. Men are much less likely to report this symptom.

One of the classic symptoms people are told to watch out for is pain that radiates out and down the left side of the body. Whether that pain is originating in your chest or in your stomach, it most commonly extends to the left arm.

Additionally, heart attacks often leave sufferers feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or off balance. Obviously no one of these symptoms alone means that you are having a heart attack . However, if you experience these symptoms in conjunction with another, especially for longer than a few seconds, seek medical attention.

Brain Attack Symptoms

The most common stroke symptom is a sudden numbness or feeling of weakness. Usually this is restricted to one side of the body. It also causes issues with coordination, simply walking becomes a struggle.

Additionally, strokes often cause sudden and severe headaches that come out of nowhere. Often times, the headache is so bad it leads to trouble seeing. Again, the impact is usually limited to one eye or the other.

Finally, someone suffering from a stroke often experiences confusion that seems to come from nowhere. They may also struggle with speaking or writing.