How Long to Wear Compression Socks for Edema?

Do you notice your feet looking a bit puffy, kind of tender and uncomfortable? Most likely you have water retention or in clinical terms, edema. People who develop edema may be due to medication, allergy, pregnancy, circulatory problems, infection or underlying complications in the internal organs.
Although that is not always the case for edema. Sitting and standing for long periods also causes temporary edema. Weakening of the valve in the blood vessels can also cause this and excessive consumption of salt.
But before we go further on the topic, let’s look at the different types of edema and where it emanates from.
  • Macular edema - this is a fluid buildup in the center of the retina called macula. A complication of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Cerebral edema - fluid buildup in the brain due to differing reasons with symptoms such as:
  • headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Partial or whole loss of vision
  • Neck pain
  • Pulmonary edema - excess fluid in the lungs which makes breathing laborious.
  • Peripheral edema - fluid retention at the legs, feet, ankles, arms and hands.
  • Periorbital edema - inflammation around the eye or eyes; eye socket.
  • Pitting edema - water retention which can also occur with peripheral edema. Causing a pit or indent when pressing on the skin for a few seconds.
  • Lymphedema - any damage in the lymphatic system due to infection, tumor, or surgical procedure may cause edema.
Let’s now focus on what triggers edema on the lower extremities. Usually this is not life threatening and can be resolved with the help of compression socks. These are:
  • Long-term immobility
  • People who are immobile for a long time can develop edema at the lower extremities. It is a result of fluid accumulation where gravity is concentrated.
  • Pre-menstruation and menstruation period
  • Hormones alter simultaneously with menstrual cycles. Levels of progesterone are lower pre-menstruation which may cause fluid retention.
  • Menopause
  • Fluctuation in hormones causes fluid retention during menopausal stage. And if hormone replacement therapy is done, this can also set off edema.
  • Birth control pills
  • Medications containing estrogen can prompt fluid retention.

1. Compression Socks for Edema

Compression socks are appropriate to be worn by individuals suffering from edema. These socks are designed to administer certain compression levels to help in reducing fluid retention and blood circulation.
When there’s swelling in the legs and feet, generally, there’s pain and discomfort. To alleviate those symptoms, wearing compression stockings will help which can allow you to stand and walk normally.

2. Compression Socks Levels

Over the Counter Compression Socks 15-20 mmHg: this is available online, in drugstores, and in medical supplies stores. Provides low pressure that is advisable for aching legs, feet, and mild edema

Medical Grade Class 1 Compression Socks 20-30 mmHg

Suitable for sports injuries and the treatment of varicose veins. More often recommended to be worn by pregnant women and by elders.

Medical Grade Class 2 Compression Socks 30-40 mmHg

With the level of compression, can only be purchased with a prescription. Treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), moderate to severe edema, and lymphedema.

Medical Grade Class 3 40-50 mmHg

This compression level is only advisable under the supervision of a specialist. For the treatment of severe venous stasis, lymphedema, and critical injuries.

3. How Long Should You Wear Compression Stockings for Edema

Compression stockings are worn daily for fluid retention. However, there are guidelines that you have to consider when it comes to wearing compression legwear. Compression socks for the treatment of edema should be referred to a medical practitioner because it will depend on your medical condition.
Ideally, compression legwear may be worn throughout the day and then removed at night since you can have your feet rested on the bed or a high pillow. Although, the usual concern will be the status of your health.
In the case of lymphedema; this is an obstruction to the lymphatic system where lymph nodes do not drain accordingly, causing blockage leading to this disorder. You have to determine how long to wear compression socks for lymphedema, in which case, a doctor is the only one who can give you sound advice.
So, if you notice swollen feet with feelings of discomfort, you may be developing edema. You can always get over-the-counter compression socks for fluid retention if you do not have any serious illness.
Consider the minor reasons listed above and do more research about your symptoms at all times before buying a pair of this legwear. Compression socks for the treatment of edema should always be referred to a medical practitioner for further analysis of your health.

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