describes two common subtypes of angioedema: Acute Angioedema and
Allergy Angioedema. For a better and
simpler understanding, I will divide this guide into two parts: the
first one explains acute and the second, allergy angioedema.
The definition of angioedema, also known as
quincke edema, is a painful swelling, usually lasting up to a few
hours and, at worst, it can be a lethal disease. It typically is
characterized by the rapid swelling of dermis (usually around eyes and
lips) and is similar in many ways to hives; however, it is a different
disease. In some cases, these two diseases may coexist and overlap as
Acute angioedema, a common form of
angioedema, is a milder form of angioedema. It is often caused by
underlying allergies and triggered by certain allergens. However, it
does not last very long and vanishes by itself, within a few hours
after its outbreak. The causes of acute angioedema can be clarified by
visiting a doctor.
Acute angioedema is characterized by the rapid swelling, which usually
occurs around the eyes or lips and lasts for a few hours. In
severe cases, the tongue and throat of the patient may also become
swollen. This can result in the blockage of the upper airway and cause
suffocation, in which case medical attention should be sought
Allergy angioedema occurs in response
to different allergies, such as pollen allergy, skin allergy or even
food allergy. Individuals, especially those with hereditary
angioedema need to avoid these allergens; however, this may not be
easy. The reason is that allergens are present all around us, in the
air we breathe as well as in the water we drink.
Certain drugs, such as beta blockers, ACE-inhibitors, Aspirin, and
NSAIDs, along with many food items, such as wheat, eggs, and peanuts
can also act as allergens and trigger allergy angioedema. These foods
and drugs must be avoided by the patient once an allergy has been
determined by a doctor.
Dr. Gary M. Levin, M.D. & Surgeon)
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