Edema is the abnormal buildup of fluid in a part of the body, which
can cause swelling and pain.
Some causes of edema include:
- Inactivity. Swelling of the ankles during a long airplane
trip is an example of edema caused by inactivity.
- Diseases such as
heart failure. If the left side of the heart is damaged, it can cause fluid to
build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
- Blood clots that stop the
flow of blood through a blood vessel. This causes blood to pool behind the
- Infection. The body often fights an infection by increasing
blood flow to the area, which can result in edema.
The treatment for edema depends on the cause.