Shortness of breath, a racing pulse, chest pain, and an overwhelming sense of fear are all signs of a panic or anxiety attack, and you may believe you need medical attention right away.
But do you? It depends on a few things
A panic attack isn’t life-threatening. However, the signs are somewhat similar to those of a heart attack or other serious health condition that requires immediate medical attention.
How do you know if you need to go to the hospital? Next, ask yourself a few questions.
Is this your first time feeling this way?
If you’ve never had a panic attack and are experiencing chest pain, you should certainly go and see a doctor or go to the emergency room. A doctor will examine you to ensure you are not suffering from a severe medical condition such as a heart attack, a pulmonary blood clot, or a collapsed lung. High blood pressure, being overweight, having a near family member that has had a heart attack, and smoking are all risk factors for a heart attack.
Have you ever been to the hospital because of a panic attack?
If that’s the case, you’ve most likely undergone a battery of tests, including an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests. The findings will tell you whether your symptoms are due to a heart condition or a panic attack.
If doctors couldn’t detect a health problem at the time, and you’re experiencing the same symptoms now, you’re probably having another panic attack. However, if you’re unsure, you can visit the hospital.
While most panic attacks pass in 30 minutes or less, you could take a few measures to help yourself calm down. Breathing exercises will help you if you’re out of breath. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Do you suffer from heart problems and panic attacks?
You and your doctor should discuss the symptoms that indicate you should go to the hospital, as well as how long you should wait for help.
If you’re worried about getting a heart attack, speak to a cardiologist about how to reduce the risk.
Is this similar to your previous panic attacks?
Maybe your heart is racing this time, but you’ve had trouble breathing before. Maybe your chest pain has become more severe and won’t go away. Go to the hospital if the symptoms are far different from those you’ve previously experienced.
If you do go to the hospital
If you go to the hospital, an ECG, blood checks, and a chest X-ray can be performed to ensure you aren’t having a heart attack or any other serious issue. The doctor can also prescribe you some medication to help relax you.
If you have panic attacks regularly, talk to your doctor or a therapist. It may indicate that you are suffering from panic disorder. If you do, your doctor will assist you in determining the best course of action.