Edema

Edema is a buildup of fluids. It is most common in the feet, ankles, and legs. This happens more as a person ages. It may affect one or both legs.

HOME CARE

  • Raise (elevate) the legs or ankles above the level of the heart while lying down.

  • Avoid sitting or standing still for a long time.

  • Exercise the legs to help the puffiness (swelling) go down.

  • A low-salt diet may help lessen the puffiness.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You develop shortness of breath or chest pain.

  • You cannot breathe when you lie down.

  • You have more puffiness that does not go away with treatment.

  • You develop pain or redness in the areas that are puffy.

  • You have a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • You gain 3 lb/1.4 kg or more in 1 day or 5 lb/2.3 kg in a week.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.