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What Is Angioedema?

Angioedema is a reaction resulting in deep swelling in layers of the skin. It differs from hives in that angioedema swelling is not visible on the surface of the skin. Angioedema does, however, sometimes occur at the same time as hives. Swelling due to angioedema most often occurs in the mouth, genitals, or eyelids (all soft tissues). This swelling may be either acute or chronic.

Causes Of Angioedema

Angioedema may be triggered by any number of things including certain substances, atmospheric conditions such as weather, and the after effects of infections or autoimmune diseases such as lymphoma, lupus, and leukemia. Genetics are a less common, but possible cause as well. Hereditary angioedema may cause swelling in the hands, feet, face, intestinal wall and airways. Because of the diverse possible triggers involved with angioedema, it is important to work closely with a trained specialist to determine the root cause.

Symptoms Of Angioedema

Angioedema often results in subsurface swelling near the eyes and lips. The feet, hands, and throat may also show symptoms. This swelling may spread over a wide area or appear in a line. The affected areas are not always painful, sore, or itchy as with hives. Other symptoms include respiratory problems, and swelling of the eyes or mouth.

Symptoms should be carefully noted and monitored. These symptoms can cause significant pain and discomfort, taking a toll on everyday life. If you suffer any of these symptoms, an allergist can assist in diagnosing the condition and creating a treatment plan to manage symptoms and prevent future reactions.

At Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute, Dr. Laura Ispas helps patients suffering from angioedema and other allergic conditions to determine the root cause of the issue. She works with patients in taking the next steps toward allergy management and relief using her knowledge of safe, proven treatments and emerging research.

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