Edema

Definition - What does Edema mean?

Edema is the term used to refer to swelling in the body. Excess fluid build up in the body's tissue causes this swelling. Edema may be caused an injury, inflammation, or disease. The treatment for edema will depend of the cause of the swelling.

WorkplaceTesting explains Edema

Many different conditions may cause edema. Edema commonly affect the hands, feet, ankles and legs. However, this swelling may occur anywhere in the body. When the body suffers an injury or as a result of certain diseases, the small blood vessels release fluid into the body's tissue. This fluid excess fluid causes the tissue to swell.

Mild forms of edema may require not treatment to resolve. Some incidents of edema may be a part of the body's healing process and resolve without intervention. For instance, when the edema is the result of a muscle injury, the excess fluid released into the tissue assists in the healing process by delivering white blood cells to the damaged tissue. However, edema caused by trauma may become dangerous if the build up of fluid puts pressure on the eyes, brain, spinal column, or other sensitive areas of the body.

In some situations, the build up of fluid is a symptom of an underlying disease such as heart failure or liver disease. Edema may be a first indicator of conditions such as tumors or deep vein thrombosis. An allergic reaction may cause systematic swelling or swelling of the throat that can be life-threatening. Some medications may also cause edema.

The treatment for edema is guided by the cause of the condition and may include dietary changes, medication, or radiation therapy.

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