peripheral attacks

<p>Understanding<br />
peripheral attacks</p>

What is a peripheral attack?

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) can cause swelling in various parts of the body. These swellings, sometimes called ‘attacks’, can be painful and some may need immediate medical attention. Sometimes these attacks can affect the hands, legs, arms, feet or genitals, usually in the tissue just below the skin (subcutaneous). These are called ‘peripheral attacks’ and they make up more than half of all HAE attacks.

What is the impact of a peripheral attack?

The effect of peripheral attacks of HAE will differ from person to person. For some, symptoms can be minor, but for others the swelling and pain can affect use of the hands, arms and legs. This can make everyday tasks such as driving the car, using a computer, getting dressed, making a phone call or holding a pen difficult. This might stop some people with HAE from attending school or work, spending time with friends or enjoying hobbies.

When should peripheral attacks be discussed?

Peripheral attacks can be underestimated and so the symptoms are not always treated or even discussed. Sometimes this is because a peripheral attack is mistakenly seen to be not ‘worth’ treating compared to attacks in other areas of the body. If peripheral attacks are making your everyday life difficult, then you should mention it at your next consultation.

What should I do next?

Speak to your doctor or nurse about how peripheral attacks affect you and the best way to manage those that are painful or disruptive. Download a Peripheral Attacks & Me Guide below or in the ‘Downloads’ section and use the ‘Notes’ page to record specific examples of how peripheral attacks have affected you. You can then use these as the basis for a conversation with your doctor or nurse.