Lymphedema Awareness Month is celebrated in March each year to empower the community and spread awareness about the condition through advocacy and education. This blog has all the information you need to understand this disease and the treatment options available, including the use of medical compression garments.
About Lymphedema Awareness Month
Lymphedema Awareness Month is a good time to increase awareness about the condition. It encourages everyone to support those who are affected.
World Lymphedema Day is celebrated on March 6th. It’s a patient-driven awareness day that aims to educate communities and continue to find treatment modalities for the condition.
To get involved, check out local events and online lymphedema communities to connect with others who share the same condition.
Lymphedema Products LLC supports Lymphedema Awareness Month by providing high-quality medical compression garments. We continue to help customers treat their lymphedema effectively, safely, and stylishly.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease characterized by edema (swelling) from too much lymph fluid. While it typically occurs in the legs or arms, it can also happen in other parts of the body. The swelling can be painful and limit movement.
The condition affects as much as 10 million Americans and more than 100 million people globally. A person can be born with lymphedema; the condition is called ‘primary lymphedema’ in this case. But the most common type is secondary lymphedema, which may occur with damage to or removal of the lymph nodes after a surgical procedure.
How do you manage lymphedema?
There’s no cure for lymphedema yet but there are ways to manage the condition. This usually involves using lymphedema products such as compression garments. If you suffer from this condition, it’s advisable to consult a lymphedema specialist before you buy any medical compression garment.
Proper management— focused on controlling pain and reducing swelling—can prevent lymphedema from becoming a debilitating condition. Specialists recommend staying hydrated and performing certain exercises to help reduce swelling. Wrapping the leg or arm and using medical compression garments regularly may also be advised.
Most people with lymphedema find it challenging to wear compression garments for life because these products look unflattering. The good news is that reputable manufacturers of these garments are listening; they are continuously coming up with stylish and comfortable lymphedema products to appeal to customers. Nowadays, you’ll find a range of garments in different patterns and colors to suit your taste. They look discreet, too, so other people won’t notice that you’re wearing a compression garment.
What triggers lymphedema?
Lymphedema occurs when lymph vessels are unable to drain lymph fluid sufficiently. Certain conditions and situations may trigger lymphedema, and they include:
- Radiation treatment for cancer
- Cancer cells that block lymph vessels
- Lymph node surgery or removal
Some people may be prone to developing lymphedema, too. The risk factors include:
- Obesity or excess weight
- Dependency (Sitting too much, inactivity)
- Poor vein health in the calves
Different types of lymphedema treatments
Effective lymphedema treatment focuses on halting the chronic skin changes, decreasing volume and improving the overall health and immune function of the involved limb which involves limiting the progression and scope of the condition. A lymphedema specialist may recommend light exercises to improve blood circulation and encourage natural lymphatic drainage. They may prescribe medical compression garments, too, so lymph fluid can recirculate instead of accumulating in your extremities. Experts may also recommend complete decongestive therapy and pneumatic compression.