Edema is swelling as a result of injury or inflammation and it may affect small areas or the entire body. It may be caused by certain medications, infection, allergic reactions, pregnancy, or underlying medical conditions, such as kidney disease, heart conditions, and cirrhosis.
It occurs when small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues, causing swelling. Symptoms of edema depend on the level of swelling and its location in the body.
Treatment of edema focuses on addressing the underlying cause of the swelling, for example, edema caused by an allergic reaction will be treated with antihistamines and other allergy medication. Other treatment options include reducing salt intake and wearing compression socks.
Drug classes commonly used to treat edema include systemic corticosteroids, plain, thiazide diuretics, potassium-sparing and thiazide diuretic combinations, other potassium-sparing diuretics, loop diuretics, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.