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Angioedema Specialist

Wasatch Allergy and Asthma

Allergists located in Salt Lake City, UT & Riverton, UT

Angioedema causes rapid, sometimes painful swelling of your face and other areas, and it often accompanies an outbreak of hives. Wasatch Allergy and Asthma is a specialty medical center with offices in Salt Lake City and Riverton, Utah, that has a team of specialists available to help minimize and relieve the effects of angioedema. If you have hives or experience angioedema without hives, call to schedule an appointment with Eric Chenworth, DO, or another member of the team today. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.

Angioedema

What is angioedema?

Angioedema affects the deep layers of skin and soft tissues, causing pain, rapid swelling, and large welts like those you see with hives (urticaria). The swelling appears in areas such as the:

  • Eyelids
  • Mouth and lips
  • Throat
  • Hands and feet
  • Genitals

The swelling is due to a buildup of fluid. This fluid leaks out of blood vessels that have abnormally porous walls, which means they aren’t able to keep fluid in. Swelling in the throat can restrict your breathing and is potentially life-threatening. 

What causes angioedema?

Acute angioedema is usually caused by an allergic reaction to a specific food or medication. Some common triggers for an attack of acute angioedema include, but are not limited to:

  • Insect bites
  • Foods: Nuts, eggs, milks, fruits, shellfish, or fish
  • Medications: Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ACE inhibitors for blood pressure, codeine, or morphine

You might also get an attack of angioedema after an infection or when you have an autoimmune disorder. If you don’t know what triggers your angioedema, your provider at Wasatch Allergy and Asthma can run tests to find out.

Acute angioedema only lasts for a brief period, from minutes to a few days. You can also get chronic, recurrent angioedema. The cause of this is often unknown.

There is a hereditary form of angioedema (HAE), which is a rare genetic condition. HAE causes swelling in the intestinal wall, airways, face, feet, and hands that can lead to serious complications.

How is angioedema treated?

If your symptoms are only mild, you might not need any treatment. More severe symptoms benefit from prompt treatment, and if you have breathing difficulties, you should treat it as a medical emergency.

If you’re susceptible to angioedema, you need to avoid triggers that set off your attacks. You should also avoid taking any medications, supplements, or other therapies that aren’t prescribed for you by the team at Wasatch Allergy and Asthma.

Your provider might prescribe medication for your angioedema, such as:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Epinephrine shots
  • Inhaler medicines

You can also use cold compresses to help relieve the pain.

If angioedema is affecting your life, call Wasatch Allergy and Asthma today to schedule a consultation, or you can request an appointment using the online booking tool.