Edema: Causes & Symptoms

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Simply put, edema refers to swelling. It usually manifests on the hands, arms, ankles, legs, and feet. But sometimes, it can also be found in the internal organs like muscles, bowels, lungs, eyes, and brain.

What is Edema?

Edema is the swelling of a body part caused by fluid retention. In this condition, there is a “trapping of fluids in tissues” which occurs when your blood vessels leak fluid into the surrounding tissues. The buildup of fluid causes the affected area to swell. It could also be accompanied by itching or pain.


Edema is not exactly a skin problem, and there can be quite a few ultimate and proximate causes behind it.

  • Blood pressure and heart troubles; the most serious form is pulmonary edema that can even lead to heart failure
  • Getting hurt at any of your body part or a ligament is torn
  • Standing for a long time or walking for hours
  • Allergic reaction from an insect bite
  • Pregnant women often get swollen feet


The symptoms of edema differ depending on the type and location. Some of the common symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stretched skin
  • Itching
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Veins begin to pop
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
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