A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a period of time and a part of the heart muscle is damaged. It is also called a myocardial infarction (MI).
Angina is pain or pressure in the chest. It occurs when your heart muscle is not getting enough blood or oxygen. You may feel angina in your neck or jaw. Sometimes you may notice that you are short of breath.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of yourself after a heart attack.
What to ask your doctor about your heart attack
What are the signs and symptoms that I am having angina? Will I always have the same symptoms?
How much activity is ok for me?
Do I need to have a stress test? Do I need to go to a cardiac rehabilitation program?
When can I return to work? Are there limits on what I can do at work?
What should I do if I feel sad or very worried about my heart disease?
How can I change the way I live to make my heart healthier?
Is it ok to be sexually active? Is it safe to use sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis) for erection problems?
What medicines am I taking to treat angina?
If I am taking a blood thinner such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), can I use medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) for arthritis, headaches, or other pain problems?
Gaziano M, Ridker PM, Libby P. Primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P. (eds.). Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:1010.
Smith Jr SC, Benjamin EJ, Bonow RO, et al. AHA/ACCF secondary prevention and risk reduction therapy for patients with coronary and other atherosclerotic vascular disease: 2011 update: a guideline from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Foundation endorsed by the World Heart Federation and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;58(23):2432-46. PMID: 22055990 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22055990.