Individuals with swollen ankles should seek immediate medical care if the swelling is accompanied by certain symptoms, including fainting, chest pain lasting more than a few minutes, confusion and difficulty breathing, advises Mayo Clinic. The symptoms may indicate a serious heart condition or a blood clot in the lungs.
If the origin of the swelling is not known, or it is caused by a physical injury, Mayo Clinic advises individuals to seek medical attention as well. Ankle swelling in the evening can indicate salt and water retention due to right-sided heart failure, according to WebMD. Ankle swelling accompanied by loss of appetite, weight gain and fatigue mandate a visit to the doctor.