How to Detect Heart Artery Blockage Formation Early

Early detection of heart artery blockage can save you from serious heart complications. Heart artery blockage can lead to many coronary artery diseases (CAD), which impair the blood flow to the heart. This is the most prevalent form of heart disease affecting about 16 million people in America.

Wondering if you could be one of those 16 million people? Better hope not! But still, isn’t it better to know how to detect heart artery blockage early?

Many people with heart artery blockage don’t realize it until they experience an emergency (like a heart attack). But you can make a difference by early detection and treatment of the symptoms of heart artery blockage. In this article, you’ll learn about heart artery blockage symptoms and detection tests.

Causes of Heart Artery Blockage

Atherosclerosis (vascular damage caused by artery cholesterol plaque buildup) is typically the cause of heart artery blockage. This problem develops in your arteries when fat, calcium, cholesterol, and other substances accumulate there.

Symptoms of Heart Artery Blockage

You could encounter many symptoms when your heart doesn’t receive enough arterial blood. The most typical sign of heart artery blockage is angina or chest pain. Some describe this as:

  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart burning
  • Chest heaviness

Heartburn and indigestion might sometimes be misinterpreted as these symptoms.

Other signs you may have blocked arteries

  • Dizziness
  • Arms or shoulder pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

Tests to Detect Heart Artery Blockage

Many tests can help you detect any occlusion in your arteries. Some of these are:

1.   Cardiac (heart) CT scan

A cardiac CT scan can detect calcium buildup & artery blockages. The coronary arteries may become narrowed by calcium deposits.

2.   Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An ECG tracks your heart’s electrical signals. Your doctor may use it to assess if you’ve had a heart attack.

3.   Exercise stress test

This examination measures the strain on your heart while you’re exercising and when you’re not. If you frequently experience symptoms when exercising, your doctor may ask you to ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill while getting an ECG.

For a section of this test, nuclear or echocardiographic imaging may also be used. If you cannot exercise, you may be prescribed drugs that stimulate the heart equivalent to exercise.

4.   Left Heart Catheterization

During this treatment, a healthcare professional inserts a catheter through an artery to inject a particular dye into your coronary arteries. The dye improves the radiography image of your coronary arteries to find any obstructions.

What to do After Detecting Heart Artery Blockage

If you have detected the symptoms of coronary artery disease, you should consult your doctor for further testing for confirmation. But if, unluckily, you’re confirmed for having heart artery blockage, you can manage it by:

The Bottom Line

Heart artery blockage is highly treatable if it is detected early. So, consult your healthcare provider to rule out the disease if you feel or notice any signs or symptoms of coronary artery blockage.

And if you’re confirmed to have coronary artery disease, it’s crucial to stick to your doctor’s recommendations. Make the suggested lifestyle adjustments and take your medications as prescribed.