Word of the Week: Edema

illustration of scientist looking into microscope - word of the week

Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.


How to say itEdema (eh-DEE-muh)

What it means: An abnormal buildup of fluid in the body; swelling.

Where it comes from: From Greek, oidēma, "swelling."

A person's two hands- the left is visible swollen and the other is normal size.

OpenStax College/WikiCommons

Where you might see or hear it: If you badly sprain your ankle on a hike and need to get medical care, the doctor examining you might note that there is edema around your ankle or foot (which means that the area is swollen).

When you might want to use it: If you go home after hurting your ankle and call your doctor's office to ask if you should come in to have it looked at or go to the ER, you could say that there is edema, but it's just as easy to say that your ankle and/or foot is swollen.

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