What To Do About Age-Induced Leg Swelling

Jul 17, 2023 | Injuries, Prevention

If your legs have started swelling out of nowhere, you might want to reach out to your doctor for an examination since it could point to a serious underlying issue that needs to be evaluated. Some problems that can cause leg swelling in aged individuals include heart, kidney, or liver issues.
This needs to be treated so your symptoms do not get worse, and you can begin your treatment plan. Let’s explore leg swelling in aging and what you need to know and do about it.


Questions Your Doctor Might Ask You to Evaluate Your Condition
Leg swelling is also called an edema, and your doctor’s first question might be to ask you how long it’s been there, which might reveal how serious the issue is. Your doctor might also ask you if it’s just one leg that’s affected or both and if it hurts to touch, which might point to a venous edema since lymphedema is not painful.
If you’re already taking any medications for the swelling, your doctor will ask you about them. Other possible questions he might ask include whether your legs hurt at specific times of the day.
Whether there is any pain relief or a reduction in swelling when you elevate your legs and if you’re experiencing any breathing difficulties such as shortness of breath, especially when you’re lying flat on your back or stomach. Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history and any problems you have been dealing with throughout your life.


Symptoms That Point to a Serious Issue
If you have difficulty breathing, it could be a serious issue, such as a pulmonary edema or something similar. This is why you should visit your doctor straight away if you are struggling to breathe freely.
If only one of your legs is affected, you need to seek medical attention straight away since it could be pointing to a blood clot, infection, or tumor blockage. Your symptoms may be painless, which does not mean that your condition isn’t serious.
You should still consider getting it checked out if the swelling does not go away. If you’re experiencing severe or sharp pain, you may be dealing with an issue that needs immediate medical intervention, which is why you should never ignore your symptoms.


Doctor’s Examination For Leg Swelling
Your doctor’s first approach might be to put pressure on your legs to see if there’s any evidence of ‘pitting,’ which immediately lets the doctor know of the type of edema since many edema types leave behind a little depression while others don’t. Your veins will be examined for any signs of dilation or inflammation, and your skin’s color will also be checked, indicating how serious the problem might be.
You might need a urine analysis to check for creatinine and TSH, which can provide the doctor with relevant information that could help him begin the treatment plan. Other tests might include checking for cardiac function, blood clots, and a sleep study, helping the doctor isolate the underlying cause and begin immediate treatment.


Final Verdict
Leg swelling can be a potentially serious issue that needs to be examined by a doctor since it could be pointing to something life-threatening, which is why you should always treat your symptoms seriously. Your best bet would be to wait 24-48 hours to see if your symptoms disappear, after which it’s time to seek medical attention.