Varicose veins are uncomfortable and unsightly swollen veins that exist on the legs and feet. They’re also an incredibly common form of venous disease that affects both men and women of any age range. If many people have varicose veins, are they inevitable? We want to help you look into the causes, potential health risks, and treatment for varicose veins.
Why Do People Get Varicose Veins?
This condition occurs due to damage of the valves located in the blood vessels. The valves’ job is to regulate the direction of blood flow to parts of the body. When the valve suffers damage, it allows blood to pool in the leg veins which can lead to varicose veins.
You stand a greater chance of developing varicose veins if your lifestyle sees you sitting or standing for long periods. You may also develop them if you see little physical activity and fail to properly workout the affected areas. As a result, varicose veins typically lead to pain or swelling within the legs and feet.
Can They Lead to Greater Health Problems?
Because of the swollen, twisted nature of varicose veins, it’s not uncommon to develop superficial blood clots. This type of clotting is typically non-life-threatening but can cause irritation, swelling, and redness.
However, greater problems have a chance of occurring by way of ulcers which appear when blood pools for long periods in an area. They can lead to bleeding or infection due to their inability to heal properly without treatment. Additionally, more serious blood clots called a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) may occur which can potentially be deadly. A DVT may break free and travel toward the heart or lungs and lead to a pulmonary embolism or heart attack.
How Do I Treat Varicose Veins?
In many cases, varicose veins prove to be an unsightly nuisance more than anything. Individuals with this issue will likely be able to go about their lives without any discomfort or fear of health risk. For those with problematic veins, surgery may be the option necessary for removal. Patients will undergo anesthesia and typically see the varicose veins removed in a mostly outpatient procedure.
Another method of treating varicose veins is called sclerotherapy, where patients receive a chemical injection which causes a vein to close and fade away over time. Doctors also sometimes use radiofrequency energy by way of a catheter that heats up the vein and collapses it.
Can I Prevent Varicose Veins?
There’s no foolproof way to prevent varicose veins as they can simply come down to genetic heritage. However, a strong exercise program and a healthy diet are key in maintaining and promoting all areas of health. Wearing compression stockings and elevating the legs are also known to aid in promoting circulation and preventing the appearance of new varicose veins. If you have an office job, be sure to stand regularly, stretch, and move your body.
Turn to Pulse Vascular for Varicose Veins and Venous Disease
Dr. Scott Hollander and his team are experts at performing minimally invasive vascular procedures. He is one of South Jersey’s 2019 top doctors and dedicates himself to the care of vascular-related illness and promoting wellbeing. If you need a specialist for your varicose veins and vascular care needs, take a look at what his many clients say about his care. For more information, contact our office in Salem, NJ at 856-935-1000.