Leg edema is a serious problem that can potentially put your overall health at risk. If you've been diagnosed with this condition or suspect that you have it, here's what you need to know about taking care of yourself and controlling this condition.

What It Does

Leg edema is a condition where an excess of fluid develops in the legs. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but this condition can cause your tissues to stretch and swell, which is extremely uncomfortable. If left uncontrolled, leg edema can also cause problems with circulation in the legs, which makes it dangerous, especially if you don't move around much. Uncontrolled limb edema can also create strain for the heart. Controlling the flow of fluid is very important to making sure that this condition doesn't worsen.

Getting Screened

If you're concerned that you might have edema, you should see a doctor about it. This is the only way to ensure that you actually have edema and not another condition that causes legs to swell.

The good news is that once you have a diagnosis, treatment is usually a fairly simple process.


Treatment for leg edema is usually a combination of therapy and lifestyle changes. For starters, you may be asked to cut back on the amount of salt that you consume. An excess of salt can worsen leg edema, so cutting back can be very helpful.

Keeping your legs elevated when you sit or lie down can also help. This makes it harder for the fluid to make it all the way down to your feet and ankles, which can help to reduce swelling.

As far as treatments go, your doctor will likely prescribe two things. One will be a medication to help you to lose the excess fluid through urination. The other is compression hose.

Knee-high compression hose looks a lot like stockings, but they're far more durable and strong. Compression hose is designed to gently squeeze your legs so that fluid moves up and out of them instead of staying stuck down near your feet. Wearing this hose every day can vastly improve your edema, the pain it causes, and reduce the strain it puts on your cardiovascular system.

If you think you have edema, you'll need to get a diagnosis from a doctor first. However, treatment is usually possible for people with this condition and is something you can take care of on your own from home. Don't put off getting help any longer. Talk to a doctor and ask about compression hose today.