Heart Attack Specialist

Levine Heart & Wellness

Ronald Levine, MD

Cardiologist located in Naples, FL

As a leading cardiologist in Naples, Florida, Dr. Levine offers the broadest array of treatment options for men and women who have suffered from heart attacks, as well as preventive care to reduce the risk of heart attacks. At Levine Heart & Wellness, each patient is carefully evaluated so care can be customized for each patient's medical needs.

Heart Attack Q & A

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is suddenly interrupted, resulting in a reduction in the amount of oxygen the heart muscle is receiving. When the heart senses an unusually low level of oxygen, the muscle cells send out pain signals and trigger other symptoms like sweating and lightheadedness, as well as releasing special proteins into the bloodstream. The most common cause of heart attacks is arterial blockage, usually occurring when sticky, fatty substances called plaque build up inside the arteries, clinging to the artery walls and narrowing the diameter or the vessels so blood flow is restricted. Less commonly, blood flow can be interrupted when the vessels “spasm” and constrict, a condition called Prinzmetal angina.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Heart attacks can cause many different symptoms, including:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Feelings of pressure or heaviness in the chest or abdomen
  • Perspiration
  • Clammy skin
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Pain radiating into the arms (especially the left arm), neck, back, shoulders or jaw
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and women and men can both experience different types of symptoms.

What are the risk factors for heart attack?

Several risk factors have been associated with an increased risk of heart attack, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Older age
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Eating a diet high in “bad” cholesterol
  • Being physically inactive
  • Family history of heart attack or cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic or acute stress

What can I do to prevent a heart attack?

Having your heart health evaluated to determine your risk factors is the first step in preventing heart attacks. Routine blood pressure screenings and blood tests for cholesterol levels are also important for preventing heart attacks and heart disease in general. If blood pressure or cholesterol levels are elevated, medicine can be prescribed to help treat these issues. Other steps include losing excess weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet that's high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, reducing stress and being more physically active.