When to See a Doctor for Swollen Legs

a doctor checking a man's swollen legsLeg swelling is caused by either fluid buildup or inflammation in leg tissues. The factors that can lead to edema or inflammation in the tissues are many, and they vary significantly in seriousness. Because some cases of leg swelling are fatal, it’s important to know when to see a doctor when your legs puff. The Heart of Dixie Vein Center shares some tips on when to seek medical help for swollen legs:

Emergency care

Emergency medical help is necessary for leg swelling that may be a sign of blood clots in the lungs or a severe heart condition. You should see a doctor immediately if leg swelling is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the chest,
  • Any breathing problems,
  • Fainting or feeling dizzy, or
  • Coughing blood.

Also, get immediate medical care if the leg swelling:

  • Happens suddenly,
  • Occurs with no manifest reason, or
  • Is due to a physical injury.

See a doctor even for non-emergency cases

But even when your swollen legs are not accompanied by signs that indicate an emergency, you should still get prompt medical care. Accordingly, visit a doctor as soon as possible for a timely diagnosis of the underlying problem.

Use home remedies judiciously

Try home treatment only when you’re sure the problem doesn’t need medical evaluation. If the leg problem is due to an apparent and non-serious cause, home treatment can help relieve swelling, pain, and stiffness.

Leg swelling can be due to peripheral edema or inflammation because of an inflammatory disorder or as a response to an injury or illness. Seek medical help immediately if your legs swell and you don’t know why or you suspect a serious cause. Also, schedule an appointment with a leg swelling expert if you notice varicose veins and other indications of venous insufficiency.