Angioedema is a swelling of the area beneath the skin that causes puffiness. The swelling may occur in the face, eyelids, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, or genitals.
If you have angioedema, it is important to be treated by a specialist who understands the condition and can make a proper diagnosis. An understanding of the root cause of your angioedema results in more effective treatment.
Your allergist will examine your welts or areas of swelling and take a careful medical history to identify possible causes. In some cases you may need an allergy skin test. If your doctor suspects you have hereditary angioedema, he or she may order a blood test to check for specific blood proteins.
The treatment for your angioedema depends on what is causing it and the severity of your reaction. If your angioedema is severe you will need to be treated in a hospital right away. At the hospital, the staff will give take necessary steps to stop the allergic reaction and help ease your symptoms.
If your symptoms are mild, you might not need treatment. However, you may be prescribed:
People with hereditary angioedema get repeated attacks which include belly pain or swelling in the throat. These attacks usually go away after two to five days, but they can become dangerous if the swelling in the throat cuts off your air supply. You can be tested and treated for hereditary angioedema.
Our specialists will provide the education and information you need to manage your angioedema - including avoiding triggers and medication management.
Angioedema is a swelling around the face, eyelids, ears, mouth, tongue hands, feet, or genitals. Angioedema can appear similar to hives, but the conditions are not the same.
Hives (urticaria) are red, raised patches of skin that are very itchy. They affect only the top layer of skin, whereas angioedema affects the deeper layers and tissues. Some people who get angioedema also get hives.
Signs and symptoms of angioedema include:
Sometimes, people have symptoms of angioedema when they are having a dangerous allergic reaction. Dial 911 if you suddenly have puffiness or hives plus any of the following:
People with allergies are at risk for angioedema. Allergies to the following are the most common triggers:
Angioedema can also be caused by rare diseases that sometimes run in families, such as hereditary angioedema.
You can lower your chances of getting angioedema by avoiding foods, medicines, or insects that cause you to have an allergic reaction. If you get angioedema often, your doctor might recommend that you take antihistamines every day.
UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
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