What Are the Silent Signs of a Heart Attack?

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While many people experience common heart attack symptoms such as intense chest pain and 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 silent signs of a 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 home care. Caledon families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Unaccountable Muscle Soreness

Many of the silent signs of heart attacks can be attributed to other causes, making them difficult to detect. One of these signs is unaccountable muscle soreness, which seniors may attribute to exercise, arthritis, or sleeping in a strange position. When feeling an unusual amount of soreness in the arms, chest, or back, it may signify more than a poor night’s sleep. Because heart attacks restrict 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 the arms, back, or chest, they should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.


For seniors who regularly experience heartburn, getting a potent flare-up after a pasta dinner probably isn’t cause for concern. When older adults who have never had heartburn before are suddenly struck by a bad case, it could be a sign the heart isn’t getting enough blood. Like muscle soreness and fatigue, unusual bouts of heartburn are one of the silent signs of heart attacks. 

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, a Caledon elder care 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 experiencing heart attacks. While men are more likely to experience easily identifiable symptoms, such as acute chest pain, women’s symptoms often go under the radar. Inexplicable jaw pain is often a side effect of low-grade heart attacks, 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 an activity they don’t usually have difficulty with.

A heart attack is just one of the many 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 Caledon live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 905-951-8885 today.