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What Causes Leg Edema In The Elderly

What Causes Leg Edema In The Elderly

Chronic edema is a condition in which the body experiences swelling in certain areas for an extended period of time. This can occur due to a variety of causes, each of which requires a unique treatment approach.

What Causes Chronic Edema?

Causes of Chronic Edema

There are many factors that can contribute to chronic edema, including:

  • Heart failure: This condition can cause fluid to build up in the legs, feet, and ankles.
  • Kidney disease: If the kidneys are unable to function properly, fluid can accumulate in the body and lead to edema.
  • Liver disease: Problems with the liver can cause fluid to build up in the abdomen and legs.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can put added pressure on the body and lead to swelling.
  • Varicose veins: These enlarged veins can cause blood to pool in the legs, leading to swelling.

Treating Chronic Edema

Edema in Elderly Adults

The treatment for chronic edema will depend on the underlying cause. However, some common approaches include:

  • Compression therapy: This involves wearing special compression stockings or bandages to help improve blood flow and reduce swelling.
  • Diuretics: These medications can help the body eliminate excess fluid through urination.
  • Lifestyle changes: Losing weight, getting regular exercise, and elevating the affected limb can all help reduce swelling.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an underlying issue that is causing edema.

Potential Complications

If left untreated, chronic edema can lead to a variety of complications, including:

  • Cellulitis: This is a bacterial skin infection that can develop in areas of edema.
  • Ulcers: Chronic swelling can cause skin breakdown and the development of open wounds.
  • Deep vein thrombosis: DVT is a blood clot that can form in the legs and lead to serious health problems.

If you are experiencing symptoms of chronic edema, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.