Allergy Associates of Dearborn
Roula H. Daher, M.D.
Allergist located in Dearborn, MI
Angioedema is a type of swelling that develops suddenly, often affects your face, and frequently appears with hives, creating an uncomfortable allergic reaction. At Allergy Associates Dearborn, Roula Daher, MD, provides comprehensive care for angioedema, determining the underlying cause and providing medications to relieve your symptoms. If you have angioedema, call the office in Dearborn, Michigan, and talk with us about the severity of your symptoms so we can schedule a prompt appointment. You can also schedule an appointment online.
Angioedema Q & A
What is angioedema?
Angioedema appears when fluids accumulate in deep layers of your skin and cause swelling. This swelling frequently occurs with hives in response to an allergic reaction.
Acute angioedema improves within a few days. However, it can become chronic and recur over weeks or months. The cause of chronic angioedema is usually unknown.
What symptoms develop due to angioedema?
The primary symptoms of angioedema are swelling and redness. You may also develop large, thick welts, and the affected area usually feels warm. In some cases, angioedema is painful.
Angioedema most often affects the face, throat, digestive tract, and airways. The swelling may also appear in your eyelids, tongue, mouth, lips, hands, feet, and genitals. When angioedema develops in your digestive tract, you’ll have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
In most cases, angioedema doesn’t cause complications. But if your condition progresses quickly and affects your throat or airways, it becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate attention.
What causes angioedema?
Angioedema occurs in response to triggers such as:
More than 90% of the time, the trigger is an allergen and the swelling is part of an acute allergic reaction. Any type of allergy can lead to angioedema, including allergies to pollen, mold, pet dander, food, insect stings, poison ivy, and latex.
Some of the most frequently used medications can cause angioedema. This list includes penicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, NSAIDs, and blood pressure medications such as ACE inhibitors.
Pressure on your skin, exercise, and exposure to heat, cold, or sunlight can trigger angioedema. Emotional stress can also cause the condition.
In some patients, an underlying illness or a fever cause angioedema. For example, lupus, thyroid conditions, and bacterial or viral infections are all known to trigger angioedema.
How is angioedema treated?
Depending on the severity of your angioedema, you may need medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids to relieve your symptoms. Otherwise, treatment primarily consists of identifying what triggered your swelling, then developing a plan to avoid the trigger and prevent future episodes of angioedema.
Dr. Daher may recommend allergy testing to ensure your exact allergen is identified. You may be a good candidate for allergy shots.
Comprehensive treatment is available for angioedema at Allergy Associates Dearborn. Call or book an appointment online.