If you’ve ever seen someone with varicose veins, there’s a pretty good chance that all you thought about was how unsightly they were. However, considering the fact that age, medical history, and one’s physical condition all play a significant role in who gets them and who doesn’t, it’s a good idea to know more about this particular health issue. By being aware of what they are and many of the things that cause them, that gives you a greater understanding of how to treat and prevent them.
What are varicose veins?
Before discussing ways to treat and prevent varicose veins, it’s important to first understand what they are. Basically, they’re blood vessels that have become large and inflamed. So much in fact that their appearance is blue and they oftentimes resemble little raised tunnels. Although varicose veins can show up anywhere on your body, they typically are the most present in the leg and ankle regions.
What causes varicose veins?
As far as what causes varicose veins, they tend to be the result of defective blood valves inside of the body. When blood is flowing through healthy veins, the muscles around the vessels contract, moving the blood freely towards the heart. When veins are weak, the blood oftentimes flows backward and expands inside of the veins and vessels. Although this can happen to virtually anyone, your age, a family history of varicose veins, the amount of weight that you carry, pregnancy, and a lack of exercise can all significantly increase your chances of getting them.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
So aside from their appearance, what’s another way to know if you are developing varicose veins? If you have veins that are tender to the touch, if you have swollen or itchy ankles or if you notice any type of ulcerations on the skin, these are clear indications that you probably have varicose veins and you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
How do you treat varicose veins?
If after going to the doctor, you discover that you do have varicose veins, they might recommend that you go to a place for varicose vein treatment. And just what does the treatment consist of? It actually depends on how serious the condition is. If it’s not chronic or debilitating, you may be told to put on what is known as compression stockings. They help to improve the circulation in your legs. There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll also be instructed to increase the amount of exercise that you do. There’s also a type of therapy that is known as Sclerotherapy where a solution is injected directly into the swollen veins so that they will return to their normal size. And then there’s laser therapy and in chronic cases, surgery is sometimes offered as well. For more information on varicose vein treatments, visit WebMD and put “varicose vein treatments” in the search field.
How do you prevent varicose veins?
As far as finding ways to prevent varicose veins, some of them have already been addressed. By watching your diet and exercising on a regular basis, it reduces your risk of becoming overweight and later developing varicose veins. Also, avoid crossing your legs as much as possible; that can hinder blood flow. And if you do have a family history of varicose veins, speak with your doctor. That way, they can put you on a regime that will make you far less susceptible to getting them. For more information on varicose veins, visit Mayo Clinic and put “varicose veins” in the search field.