How To Effectively Treat Angioedema

Angioedema is a condition that occurs when the area below the skin rapidly swells. In most cases, angioedema is a type of allergic reaction, though it may also be passed down from parent to child. Swelling occurs because of the accumulation of fluid. The condition generally affects areas with loose tissue, particularly the throat and face. In some cases, angioedema can be fatal. Unlike hives, angioedema affects the deeper layers of the skin. Many individuals will experience hives and angioedema simultaneously. There are many different treatment options available that vary depending on the cause of the swelling. Discover the most common treatments now.

Breathing Tube Placement


There have been cases of angioedema where the limbs were affected without the face or neck swelling. However, in a large number of cases, angioedema occurs chiefly in the face and neck. Fluid leaks into the loose areas of tissue beneath the top layer of skin, causing the face and neck to swell rapidly. The swelling will often become so bad that breathing is obstructed and air won't be able to get through the throat. When this is the case, it's essential for emergency intervention to occur. Breathing tube placement will help. A medical professional will insert a tube into the patient's throat through their nose or mouth so they can get oxygen. If their airways close too quickly, a doctor may need to make a small incision in the throat and insert the breathing tube through this.

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Antihistamines And Epinephrine

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Antihistamines and epinephrine are both used when angioedema is the result of an allergic reaction. Epinephrine, an emergency intervention that buys time for a visit to the hospital, is the same substance as the adrenaline the human body produces. Adrenaline triggers a fight-or-flight response. Individuals with severe allergies will often carry epinephrine around with them in case they have an allergic reaction. However, it's important to understand patients still need emergency medical treatment, as epinephrine doesn't stay in the system long, and thus symptoms will return quickly. Antihistamines are medications that relieve allergy symptoms. During an allergic reaction, the body floods with a substance called histamine. Antihistamines stop this substance, and in doing so, cause the allergic reaction to subside.

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Medications For Heredity Form

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Even though most cases of angioedema are related to allergies, the condition can also be hereditary. Hereditary angioedema is treated differently from angioedema due to an allergic reaction. There are seven medications for heredity form with FDA approval. One is a C1 inhibiting medication that treats acute episodes of hereditary angioedema in both adults and children. Another is routinely administered to guard against angioedema attacks. One medication is a B2 receptor antagonist that can treat attacks in adults. There's also an option for a self-administered C1 inhibitor derived from plasma. A kallikrein inhibiting medication may help as well. Different patients will need to talk to their doctors about their options and the effects medications will have on their bodies.

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Identifying And Avoiding Allergens


One of the best treatment options for patients who experience angioedema due to an allergic reaction is prevention. If they aren't exposed to allergens, they won't have attacks in the first place, so emergency treatment will never be required. Identifying and avoiding allergens will make life much easier. Common allergens include dust, mold, pet dander, peanuts, and strawberries. There are multiple allergy tests doctors may perform. Screening for a range of different allergens may include testing for up to ten allergens at one time. If a patient already suspects a specific allergy, they can do a skin test to see whether they react to that substance. This can also be done through a doctor too. Patients should also get in the habit of vacuuming their house and dusting their furniture at least once a week. Pets should also be kept out of the bedroom.

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Corticosteroids are medications, including prednisone, hydrocortisone, and cortisone, that can treat a multitude of conditions like asthma and rashes. They may also be useful with angioedema. It should be noted, though, these medications also have a risk of side effects. Patients who take corticosteroids to manage angioedema will want to talk to their doctor about the risks and ways to mitigate them. All corticosteroids work by mimicking the effects from naturally produced hormones in the adrenal glands. Patients taking a dosage higher than what their adrenal glands naturally make will see overall inflammation reduce. The biggest and most important factor regarding these medications for angioedema is they suppress the immune system's function. Allergic reactions are the immune system going into overdrive, so these medications can reduce the symptoms.


    HealthPrep Staff