Angioedema is a physical condition wherein swelling is experienced just under the surface of the skin. Such swelling is usually around the eyes as well as lips. Angioedema and hives may have similar characteristics; however, the difference is that hives are itchy reddish welt on the surface of the skin. Angioedema is a little deeper swelling. Both hives as well as Angioedema are caused due to allergic reaction to stuffs such as food or drugs. In other cases the condition may also result out of allergy caused due to pollen or insect sting. In seldom cases, it may be a formidable symptom of any underlying physical glitches such as Hodgkin’s disease or leukemia.
There are two common kinds of Angioedema, namely HAE or Hereditary Angioedema (which is seldom genetic condition) and Acquire Angioedema (AAE). It may take from minutes to hours for the condition to develop. It may affect any particular region on one side of the body and not on other. In most cases Angioedema is of mild nature. Severe cases of this disease can lead to throat swelling, protrusion of the tongue, respiratory, etc. The issue may also prove to be life threatening.
Symptoms of Angioedema
There are more than one associated symptom of Angioedema, which may include:-
- Sudden occurrence of red raised mark on the skins, in most cases near the eyes as well as lips. In some cases these red welts are also seen on hands and feet as well as inside of the throat.
- Burning regions on the body
- Pain and swelling
- Itchiness of skin
- Discolored patches on the skin as well as rashes on parts of body such as hands, feet, facial skin and genitals
- In rare cases patient may experience hoarseness of throat along with some swelling and respiratory issues
- There is another form of this condition known as Angioedema- eosinophilia which may have symptoms such as hives, itchiness, high body temperature, pain in the muscles, dramatic increment in weigh and increased WBC or White Blood Cell count.
Causes of Angioedema
In some cases the cause of this condition may be unknown. However, as mentioned above Angioedema are usually caused due to allergic reaction. These reactions may be caused by factors such as foods, pollen, dyes or even certain medicines. Foods that may often contribute in causing Angioedema may include shellfish, dairy product, nuts etc. Medicines that may lead to the condition may also include NSAIDs or Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as, Advil or ibuprofen etc. Other drugs that may cause the issue are aspirin, antibiotics and drugs usually prescribed for blood pressure treatment etc. In other cases there are pre-existing physical conditions which may gradually lead to Angioedema. These conditions are leukemia, connective tissue anomalies like lupus disease, Hodgkin’s disease.
In case you are suffering from mild Angioedema you may be able to cope with the condition through generic or over the counter medicines such antihistamine or other alternative therapies. When you suspect you are suffering from sever Angioedema, it is essential to first ensure that you are not facing any respiratory issues and your airway passage is open comfortably. The next step of treatment involves identifying the prevalence of the disease and undergoing regimen to eradicate allergen from the body. Simultaneously, controlling or alleviating the symptoms of the condition is also necessary. An affected individual experiencing infrequent attack may be able to manage with such episodic symptoms. However, in case you are experiencing symptoms which are persistent or too frequently recorded, you may have to undergo continuous, serious medical regimen under instruction of allergist, dermatologist or some specialists.
There are several medicines that may be prescribed to you by your doctor which may help obtaining relieve during Angioedema attacks. For mild Angioedema you may use generic or over the counter medicines such as Zyrtec, Claritin etc. Doctors may also prescribe Benadryl but it usually causes sleepiness in patient. Apart from these some antihistamine medicines are also proved to be beneficial. It is believe that it takes approx 4 days for mild Angioedema to be cured, with or without medicines. Some of the common antihistamine medicines given to Angioedema patient may include fexofenadine, cetirizine, desloratadine etc. Severe cases of Angioedema are handled through corticosteroids, which helps by reducing protrusion and itchiness.
It is always better to prevent the condition by keeping yourself safe from allergies. You should undergo allergy tests with certified allergist to identify allergens. If you are susceptible to allergy or Angioedema then you may ask your doctor about measures to keep away from respective allergens. People at risk of developing the condition are those who have had an allergic reaction which was body- wide, who have had Angioedema or hives before, those who have went through a dental process or who have ovarian cysts etc.
Through these angioedema photos, we can see how the lips and mouth area become swollen