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Tell me about Allergies!

Angioedema


Angioedema is similar to hives, but the swelling occurs in deeper tissue- in the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.  Hereditary angioedema is an uncommon specific type of angioedema that is genetically caused.  Other types of angioedema are not inherited.  Up to 50% of patients with hives also have angioedema.

The swelling of angioedema most commonly occurs in the lips, face and tongue.  Very severe cases can cause swelling inside the throat, with potential to cut off the airway and cause death. But most occurrances of angioedema are not this serious.

Some angioedema is caused by allergies- like bee stings, food allergies, animals- or by physical stimulus.  Some drugs cause angioedema- like aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, some types of blood pressure medications (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or ACE inhibitors).

For many people, antihistamines are helpful in controlling angioedema.  Obviously, if a particular medication is causing the problem, this medication should be avoided.