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What are some symptoms of angioedema?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of angioedema include swelling below the skin, welts, abdominal cramping, swollen eyes and swollen mouth, according to MedlinePlus. Swelling in deeper layers of the skin may cause pain. Additional symptoms include chemosis, which is swelling of the lining of the eyes, and breathing problems.

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Full Answer

A person who suffers from angioedema is likely to experience swelling below the skin surface, notes MedlinePlus. The swelling mostly appears around the eyes and lips. Swelling in the throat, hands and feet may also occur. Welts may occur along with angioedema, causing pain and itching. A patient who experiences wheezing, fainting or difficulty breathing requires immediate medical attention.

More frequently, the cause of angioedema is unknown; however, certain medications, including antibiotics; some foods, such as shellfish, eggs and berries; pollen; and animal dander may cause the problem, states MedlinePlus. The allergens cause the body to release histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream to fight off the foreign bodies, causing a reaction that gives rise to the condition. Insect bites and certain environmental factors, such as cold, heat and water, may cause the allergic reaction as well.

A physical examination along with blood tests may help diagnose the condition, according to MedlinePlus. Treatments, which are necessary for moderate to severe symptoms, include applying cold compresses, avoiding allergens and taking certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory medicines and antihistamines.

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