Varicose veins, often known as spider veins, are a prevalent condition in women. About 25 percent of adults have varicose veins on the lower legs. It occurs when the veins dilate, enlarge, or fill with blood. The veins look raised and swollen, while many have a blue and purple color, which is often painful.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
The varicose vein is a condition that occurs when the veins are not functioning correctly. Our veins have single-way valves, which help prevent the blood from going in the backward direction, but whenever the valves fail, your blood will start to gather in the veins and will not continue to flow toward the heart. This is when the veins begin to enlarge. It affects the legs, and since the veins are away from the heart, it becomes difficult for the blood to go upwards. Some causes of varicose veins are menopause, pregnancy, obesity, age over 50, family history, and standing for long hours.
What are the Signs of Varicose Veins?
The main symptom of varicose veins is obvious, misshapen veins on the legs. Besides that, there could be swelling, pain, ashiness, and heaviness over and around the particular area. You could develop discoloration and swelling in many cases, while in severe cases, the veins could start to bleed, and ulcers can form.
The doctor will examine the legs and veins while you sit or stand. They will also question you about the symptoms or pain you are having. In some cases, an ultrasound will be necessary to check blood flow. It is a noninvasive test with sound waves that allow the doctor to see how blood flows through the veins. The experts engaged in health survey translation often come across incomplete reports, which is why some doctors recommend a venogram to check the veins further. This is a test where the doctor will inject a particular dye in the legs and then proceed with an X-ray of the legs. It provides a good view of the blood flow. Such tests help the doctor understand if there is a disorder, such as a blockage or blood clot causing swelling and pain in the legs.
Preventing and Treating Varicose Veins
Doctors are usually conservative with varicose vein patients and will most often advise lifestyle changes instead of opting for other treatments. Below-mentioned changes can go a long way in varicose vein patients.
- Use compression stockings or socks.
- Avoid standing excessively.
- Exercise to improve blood circulation.
- Lose weight.
These steps can help prevent the formation of new varicose veins, and you must also elevate the legs whenever you are sleeping or resting. Compression socks make a lot of difference to patients with varicose veins. They put enough pressure on the legs to enable easy blood flow to the heart, and it also helps reduce swelling.
When the lifestyle changes are not working or if the veins are causing a lot of trouble and damaging your health, it helps to consider an invasive procedure. Stripping and vein ligation is a surgical treatments that will require anesthesia. It is a procedure in which the surgeon makes a cut in the skin through the vein and removes it through incisions. Many updated variations of surgeries have been developed, but they are rarely performed.
There are several minimally invasive treatment options you can consider. These include sclerotherapy which is done using a foam chemical injection or liquid injection to block off a large vein, laser surgery to block off a vein, endoscopic vein surgery, which is done using a small light scope inserted from a small incision and micro sclerotherapy which also helps block off the smaller veins.
Ask your doctor about all the treatment options and understand the risks before you choose one. Many treatment alternatives will depend on the size, location of the vein, and symptoms.
As an individual suffering from varicose veins, you need to remember that the condition could get worse over time. It will happen even if you make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to manage the pain. They might be unsightly, but they do not cause long-term medical issues. Sporadic cases could lead to ulcers or sores on the legs, chronic inflammation, or blood clots. If there is a severe case, the veins might rupture.
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to see a doctor soon. The doctor will suggest taking the necessary tests or offer an approach based on your condition.