top of page

What is angioedema?

Angioedema is a medical term for swelling.

It commonly affects the face, including lips and tongue and the region around the eyes.  It can also impact other parts of the body including the neck, hands and feet.

It is often associated with urticaria (hives).

When does angioedema arise?
It can arise after contact with an allergen, for example certain foods, and is indicative of an underlying allergy (e.g food allergy).  It will usually settle down with antihistamines and avoidance of the offending allergen.

Much like urticaria, and the two often go hand-in-hand, angioedema can arise spontaneously without the trigger of an allergen.

Spontaneous angioedema can be chronic in nature.  Chronic angioedema is defined as swelling, which is either consistent or intermittent, that lasts for a period of 6 weeks or more.   Intermittent angioedema can repeatedly flare up and then settle down in a cyclical fashion.   

Potential triggers for flare ups of spontaneous angioedema include: stress, intercurrent illness or NSAIDs (a class of drugs which include aspirin and ibuprofen).

An indication that the angioedema could be spontaneous in nature is if it arises in the morning, after waking up, without any obvious trigger.

For more information on this condition and how to treat it, please contact us to arrange a consultation.  

bottom of page