Angioedema is also commonly termed as angioneurotic edema, angiooedema, or Quincke's edema. It is a fast swelling of the dermis, mucosa, subcutaneous tissue, and submucosal tissues. Angioedema is usually caused by an allergic reaction during which histamine and many other chemicals are released into the bloodstream. The human body discharges histamine as soon as the immune system suspects a foreign substance known as an allergen. The swelling in angiedema is quite similar to that of the hives; however the swelling instead of on the surface of the skin is under the skin. There have been cases where angioedema in patients have advanced is great speed, and these cases must be treated as a medical emergency, since there are high chances of suffocation and airway obstruction which if not attended immediately will result in death. Angioedema treatment depends on the severity of the condition, for instance, mild symptoms might not require any treatment at all, moderate to severe symptoms will need medical attention and difficulty in breathing is considered as medical emergency.
Angioedema is classified as either acquired or hereditary:
Acquired angioedema (AAE) – this type can be non-immunologic, immunologic, or idiopathic. It is generally a result of an allergy and comes along with many other symptoms of allergy and urticaria. It has been observed that AAE can also result as a potential side effect to some specific medications, especially ACE inhibitors. It is distinguished by swelling of lips, tongues, face, genitals, and limbs.
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) – this kind is quite rare and a possible life-threatening genetic condition. HAE happens in nearly 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. The symptoms include swelling and inflammation in several parts of the body such as feet, hands, face and airway.
Angioedema Treatment: market report on angioedema states that escalation in the number of cases in United States alone has actuated the need for more enhancements in treatment of this condition.
Patients suffering from angioedema must:
- Avoid any medications, supplements, or herbs which are not been prescribed by the doctor
- Avoid any known allergen or set off their symptoms causes
Angioedema treatment options include many medications such as anti-inflammatory medicines (corticosteroids), antihistamines, inhaler medicines which aid in opening up airways, ranitidine (zantac), and epinephrine shots.