- Swelling/puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin (common in legs or arms)
- Stretched or shiny skin around the affected area
- Skin that retains a dimple (pits), after being pressed for several seconds
- Increased abdominal size
- Prolonged swelling, or swelling that won’t go away
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
What causes edema in seniors?
Causes of edema in seniors are wide ranging, minor to extreme. Most cases of mild edema in seniors are side effects of medications for high blood pressure, steroids, diabetes, or estrogens. Other mild causes of edema could include sitting or staying in one position for too long or eating too much salty food. While the pull of gravity could be to blame, edema in seniors could also be caused by or a sign of a much more serious underlying medical condition like:
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney damage or kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Poor lymphatic system function
- Exercise, stretch, and move around throughout the day (especially after long hours of sitting still)
- Wear compression socks on affected limbs to encourage blood flow
- Elevate affected limbs
If left untreated
If left untreated, edema can lead to a number of complications in elderly individuals including:
Some accompanying symptoms of edema—like shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or swelling in a single limb—will require urgent care. Anyone experiencing these exacerbated symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, especially if they have an underlying health concern like congestive heart failure (CHF) or kidney disease. And that’s where DispatchHealth can help.
Offering an affordable flat rate for uninsured patients, but accepting most major forms of health insurance—including Medicare and Medicaid—DispatchHealth does all that we can to ensure you benefit from personalized medical care at an affordable price. Best of all, requesting care is as easy as contacting us via a phone call, our app, or on our website. Within a few hours, our medical professionals will arrive at your place of need.