Active And Reactive Hyperemia: What Are Its Causes & Symptoms?

Hyperemia is a medical condition in which there is congestion of blood in specific area of the tissue, mainly the skin. If your skin in particular area becomes red, flushed and warm to touch, than it might be due to hyperemia.

It occurs when there is increase in flow of blood in the capillaries, the small blood vessels. Any type of obstruction or inflammation which restricts normal flow of blood results in hyperemia.

Your skin and face becomes red and flushed after exercise, this is the result of rush of blood and dilatation of the capillaries.

An increase in cardiac or gastrointestinal activity is other cause of hyperemia. Hyperemia is curable condition and should be treated promptly to avoid its lasting effect.

What Are The Causes Of Hyperemia?

Hyperemia can be active or reactive. Active hyperemia is also called functional hyperemia or exercise hyperemia. This type of hyperemia in tissue or certain organ occurs when there is increase in metabolic activity of the particular tissue.

For any metabolic activity, the cell or tissue consumes more oxygen, glucose, and fats as fuel. Increased metabolic activity leads to more metabolic waste. This metabolic waste is in the form of carbon dioxide, lactate, adenosine, etc.

Metabolic waste acts as a vasodilator. At the same time due to utilization of oxygen, the tissue becomes hypoxic and there is increased demand of oxygen and therefore increased blood flow to the area. The vasodilators act on the vessel wall relaxing them or causing vasodilatation.

Active hyperemia can occur after exercise due to contraction of muscles, after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Intake of certain drugs and alcohol can also cause hyperemia. The increase in blood flow will be normal once the metabolism returns to its original normality.

Reactive hyperemia is also called passive hyperemia. It results due to blockage of blood flowing through veins. Blockage in the vein can seriously affect the blood flow. Thus causing blood to be collected in particular part of body where the blockage is present. A person who has experienced ischemia is likely to have hyperemia.

The oxygen level in the blood is lowered due to blockage in the vein. As a result the tissue will require more oxygen and produce metabolic waste. One of the best examples of reactive hyperemia is a tight band warped on hand or leg. Reactive hyperemia also occurs due to ischemia in coronary arteries.

Symptoms Of Active And Reactive Hyperemia

The symptoms of hyperemia may differ from one person to another, but some of the most common symptoms are as follows. The symptoms of active hyperemia and reactive hyperemia may be different.

Symptoms of active hyperemia:

  • Flushed face or any part of skin that is involved.
  • Warmth in the affected area.
  • Redness and flushed eyes.
  • Throbbing of the arteries supplying the affected area.
  • Increased irritability and restlessness.
  • Reduced sleep.
  • Increased sensitivity to touch.

Symptoms of reactive hyperemia:

Person suffering from passive hyperemia may have symptoms such as:

  • Lack of intelligence
  • Feeling mentally dull
  • Pale skin
  • Extremities cold and clammy
  • Thready pulse
  • Coldness over the affected area of skin

Treatment For Hyperemia

Hyperemia can develop in any area of the body. On skin, brain, lungs, eyes etc. Most cases of hyperemia are treated. Management of the condition depends on the type of hyperemia.

If anyone who experiences the symptoms of hyperemia, he should seek medical help immediately so that any untoward complication can be prevented.

For hyperemia, homeopathic drugs such as gelsimium, passiflora, rhus tox are found to be effective.