Angioedema is a type of dermatological condition which causes swelling under the skin. The condition is caused in reaction to medication or an alien object which one is allergic to. Generally, the condition is not serious but it can be a recurring condition in some patients causing fatalities complications in some cases.
The types of angioedema are as follows:
1. Allergic angioedema: This happens due to allergic reactions and is one of the most common types. Certain harmless external substances such as food, medication are mistakenly identified as harmful by the body. Then certain chemicals are released by the bodies to attack these external substances. This causes a chemical reaction in the body and leads to swelling of the skin.
2. Idiopathic angioedema: If the cause is unknown then it is put into this category. This type can relapse, it is chronic, and most of the times it is accompanied along with hives.
3. Hereditary angioedema: This type occurs due to the genetic abnormalities and it causes a deficiency in the level of C1 protein and this type can be further divided into 3 subtypes:
The exact cause hasn’t been discovered but scientists have ascertained that it can be caused due to many factors. Some commonly observed ones include:
Some of the physical tests will be performed by the doctors and you will also be asked about medical history if any related to the case. During the test, the areas which are swollen will be examined and a breathing test is also done to check if the throat is infected or not. You must also tell your allergies to the doctor or have recently been exposed to any allergic substances, thus helping the doctor to determine the specific cause.
Sample of the blood test will also be taken if there is any suspicion of hereditary angioedema. Level of certain proteins are tested in the blood and if the results are abnormal further proceedings are done.
Internal organs like kidney, lungs, or liver are not damaged by angioedema thus this disease is not serious. But if there is any severe throat or tongue swelling then there can be difficulty in breathing.
If someone has mild angioedema then there is no requirement of any treatment. But if the disease becomes moderate or has serious symptoms then medications are given to treat the severe swelling. The medicines include:
For acute allergic reaction, epinephrine is taken. Loratadine and cetirizine antihistamine are taken if there is an allergic reaction and the cause is unknown.
In every case of angioedema, the swelling goes away on its own within 2-3 days but if it is chronic then it depends upon the severity of the disease. Thus it is not very serious and one can live whole life with them with all the forms of conditions and treatment is very simple.
Food that causes angioedema are eggs, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and milk are the most common food items.
Medications which cause angioedema are penicillin, ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and medicines taken for blood pressure.
Angioedema can be fatal if there is swelling around your eyes, swelling in lips, tongue, throat, larynx.
This disease is not curable but there are treatments which can prevent attacks if taken regularly. But in most of the cases, angioedema does not need any treatment.
The best ways in which angioedema can be prevented is that a person should know about the allergens and then it must be avoided. If eating some specific things triggers you up then you should know about it.