What are the symptoms of edema?

Edema causes swelling in the skin of the hands, legs, fingers and ankles. These are the most common sites, although edema can occur in all parts of the body.

Common symptoms of edema

Common symptoms of edema include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Dimples under the skin that remain after being pressed or pinched
  • Puffiness of the fingers, ankles or legs
  • Shiny skin
  • Swelling under the skin

Common symptoms of pulmonary edema

Common symptoms of pulmonary edema include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

Edema that develops in the lungs (pulmonary edema) can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inability to catch your breath

What is edema?

Edema occurs when excess fluid collects in the tissues of your body, resulting in swelling of the feet, fingers, hands, legs and other parts of the body. Fluid builds up as a result of leaking in the capillaries, tiny blood vessels that join the arterial system (carrying oxygenated blood from the heart) to the venous system (that returns deoxygenated blood to the heart and lungs). The capi... Read more about edemaintroduction


What causes edema?

Edema occurs as a result of fluid buildup in the tissues due to a number of different causes. Leakage of fluids into body spaces may occur because of increased pressure within the circulatory system, blockages in blood flow, decrease in albumin (protein) levels in the blood, or damage to tissues.... Read more about edemacauses


How is edema treated?

Treatment for edema includes medications, such as diuretics, which limit retention of water or increase urine output by the kidneys. Other medications may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of the condition. Other treatments for edema include reduction of salt from your diet, elevating your legs to minimize swelling, and wearing support stockings.... Read more about edematreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation