Edema refers to excess fluid that becomes trapped in the body’s tissues or cavities, most often in the extremities. It can be caused by certain medications, pregnancy or underlying medical conditions, such as kidney disease, heart failure or cirrhosis of the liver. While mild cases often resolve without the need for medical care, more serious cases may require treatment.
Edema is characterized by swollen, puffy tissue just under the skin that appears stretched and/or shiny and remains dimpled after you press it with your finger. It causes different symptoms in different areas of the body. Those affected by edema of the legs and feet may experience difficulty walking. Pulmonary edema manifests with shortness of breath, chest pain and difficulty breathing and requires immediate medical attention. Tongue or throat edema, often caused by an allergic reaction, is also serious as it can impede breathing.
Since this condition has so many different causes, treatment typically focuses on resolving the underlying reason for the condition. Our doctor may prescribe or recommend certain medications. When edema is caused by a blockage such as a blood clot, the blockage must be resolved or removed to treat the swelling. Compression stockings, sleeves or gloves can also help.
Home remedies can also help to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of edema. Moving the parts of your body that are affected can help the excess fluid to flow correctly and reduce swelling. You should also elevate the affected area above the level of your heart several times a day and while sleeping, if possible. Pregnant women who experience this condition in their legs should put their feet up as much as possible. Firm massage might help to move fluid out of the area affected by edema.
To avoid developing this condition or prevent it from worsening, reduce your salt intake, since too much salt can cause water retention. If you have edema, make sure to keep the area clean, dry and moisturized to prevent injury and resultant complications.
If you are experiencing edema, talk with our doctor at the South Texas Vein Institute in Edinburg. He can help determine the underlying cause of this condition and recommend the best treatment option for you. We customize all of our treatments to meet the needs of each patient. You don’t have to live with your troubling symptoms any longer. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation to learn more about our treatment options.