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Swelling on both sides of face, near ears, headaches. Blood work normal. Causes for swelling?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10437 Questions
I have swelling in both sides of my face in front of the ear and it circles to the back of my ear. Somedays it's small, other days in very large..I have seen a number of specialist with no answers. I have had a lot of blood work done but nothing is showing up. I am not in any pain but I do have headaches occasionally. Could you please tell me what to do and if this is ever going to go away...I am very confused!!!!!
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 29 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.

It seems that you are suffering from angioedema. Angioedema is an allergic condition characterized by swelling just below the surface of the skin. During an allergic reaction lots of chemical mediators of inflammation are released, histamine is one of them, which causes blood vessels to swell. The cause is unknown, but certain food and environmental conditions can trigger an attack of angioedema.

Angioedema is similar to that of hives, but hives produce itchy red lesions on the surface of your skin. Angioedema is a much deeper swelling, occasionally leading to breathing difficulty. Sometimes it's not possible to pinpoint the cause of hives and angioedema, especially when these conditions become chronic or recur. Both hives and angioedema are usually caused by an allergic reaction, to food, medication, pollen or insect stings.

Angioedema are of two types, hereditary angioedema which is genetic and acquired angioedema. It is difficult to cure this condition because of the modifications in the genes of our body. But, it can be controlled if the preventive measures are followed; such as avoiding those things which can trigger an attack of allergy and angioedema. Some doctors suggest skin patch test (allergen test) to find the triggering allergens which can be avoided. You can get this test done at your dermatologist's office.

I hope this answers your query effectively. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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