What Are the Silent Signs of a Heart Attack?

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Symptoms of a Silent Heart Attack in Anchorage, AK

While many people experiencing heart attacks have symptoms such as intense chest pain and severe shortness of breath, other people experience milder attacks. These are known as silent myocardial infarctions, or SMIs, and they’re not as easy to detect as classic heart attacks. Here are a few signs of a silent heart attack. 

Extreme Fatigue

When a senior suddenly experiences extreme fatigue, it may be a sign that a heart attack is imminent. Cardiovascular events, no matter the size, reduce blood flow to the heart. When the body’s systems aren’t getting enough blood, it can lead to noticeable feelings of lethargy. 

If your aging loved one suddenly becomes tired for no reason or is suddenly unable to perform everyday activities, he or she may be having a heart attack. In these situations, you can request an EKG scan for your parent, as these tests are used to detect abnormal heart activity. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Unexplained Muscle Soreness

Many of the signs of silent heart attacks can be attributed to other causes, making them difficult to detect. One of these signs is unexplained muscle soreness, which seniors may attribute to exercise, arthritis, or sleeping in a strange position. An unusual amount of soreness in the arms, chest, or back may signify more than a poor night’s sleep. 

Because a heart attack restricts the flow of blood, the heart muscle doesn’t receive the amount of oxygen it needs to function as intended. The body responds to this oxygen deprivation by sending pain signals via the nervous system. The brain then misinterprets these signals as coming from the muscles surrounding the nervous system, which are located in the upper half of the body. When seniors feel strange muscle soreness in their arms, back, or chest, they should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.


For a senior who regularly experiences heartburn, getting a potent flare-up after a pasta dinner probably isn’t cause for concern, but if an older adult who has never had heartburn before is suddenly struck by a bad case of indigestion, it could be a sign his or her heart isn’t getting enough blood. Like muscle soreness and fatigue, an unusual bout of heartburn is one of the signs of a silent heart attack. 

Heart disease is a major health issue among older adults. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Anchorage homecare services agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain is a common symptom in women who are experiencing heart attacks. While men are more likely to experience easily identifiable symptoms such as acute chest pain, women’s symptoms are often more subtle. Inexplicable jaw pain is often a side effect of a low-grade heart attack, and this discomfort can be accompanied by throat tightness and neck pain. 

Difficulty Breathing

Shortness of breath is another way silent heart attacks manifest. When heart attacks cause respiratory issues, they don’t always leave people gasping for breath. Oftentimes, people just feel short of breath after finishing activities they don’t usually have difficulty with. 

Heart attacks are just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Anchorage live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Call us at (907) 770-0907 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.


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