What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the legs and feet. They may be blue or dark purple and are often lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. Normally, one-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs up toward your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up. The veins become weak, large, and twisted.
Factors that causes varicose vein
Prolonged standing/sitting :
Your blood doesn’t flow as well if you are in the same position in longer period
During pregnancy, the amount of blood in the body increases to support the growth of the baby
Variances in genetic make up can tend some families towards developin varicose vein
Excess weight makes it more difficult for blood to circulate properly
Inactive individual :
Regular exercise is believed to be significant factor in keeping veins at bay.
What are the symptoms?
- Heaviness, burning, aching, tiredness, or pain in your legs. Symptoms may be worse after you stand or sit for long periods of time.
- Swelling in your feet and ankles.
- Itching over the vein.
More serious symptoms include:
- Leg swelling.
- Swelling and calf pain after you sit or stand for long periods of time.
- Skin changes, such as:
- Color changes.
- Dry, thinned skin.
- Open sores, or you may bleed after a minor injury.
Varicose veins are common and usually aren’t a sign of a serious problem. But in some cases, varicose veins can be a sign of a blockage in the deeper veins called deep vein thrombosis . If you have this problem, you may need treatment for it.
How are varicose veins diagnosed
Your doctor will likely examine your legs and visible veins while you’re sitting or standing to diagnose varicose veins. They may ask you about any pain or symptoms you’re having. Your doctor may also want to do an ultrasound to check your blood flow. This is a noninvasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves
Can varicose veins be prevented?
Yes and no. Varicose veins are largely caused by genetics. Age, obesity and pregnancy can also contribute to their appearance.
There are things you can do to prevent varicose veins from getting worse. Regular exercise definitely helps and walking is a top recommendation.
Fortunately, treatment usually doesn’t mean a hospital stay or a long, uncomfortable recovery. Thanks to less invasive procedures varicose veins can generally be treated on an outpatient basis.
A doctor might suggest exercising, losing weight, wearing compression stockings or avoiding standing for long periods of time. Wearing loose-fitting clothing and massage also can be helpful.
Wearing compression stockings all day is often the first approach to try before moving on to other treatments. They steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type and brand.
For surgical measures, surgeons can either remove one of the veins in the leg with a procedure called vein stripping and litigation, or close it off by burning (radiofrequency heating) or sealing it shut with chemicals (sclerotherapy)..
In general varicose veins worsen with time so it is preferable to have them treated before complications arise.