Peripheral edema is the swelling of tissues, usually in the lower limbs, due to the accumulation of fluids.
The condition is commonly associated with aging, but can be caused by many other conditions, including congestive heart failure, trauma, alcoholism, altitude sickness, pregnancy, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, or merely long periods of time sitting or standing without moving. Some medicines (e.g. amlodipine, pregabalin) may also cause or worsen the condition.
Successful treatment depends on control of the underlying cause. Severe swelling can cause permanent damage to nerves, resulting in peripheral neuropathy. Many cases from temporary or minor causes resolve on their own, with no lasting damage.