Understanding Varicose Veins

Understanding Varicose VeinsVeins that appear bulging and twisted, and those that are either dark purple or blue, are known as varicose veins. These types of veins develop when a one-way valve inside a vein weakens and blood leaks back into the vein pooling and causing it to become enlarged.

This is an incredibly common form of vein disease. Varicose veins affect one out of every two people over the age of 50 and are most frequently seen in the legs. There are certain things that may increase your chances for developing varicose veins.

Are you at Risk?

Here are some of the most common risk factors for varicose veins:

  • Genetics. If your parents or siblings have varicose veins you have a good chance of developing then also
  • Increasing age. Though not restricted to older people, after age 50 your chances of developing them increase
  • Hormonal changes. Menopause and pregnancy are often implicated in varicose vein formation.
  • Obesity. People with higher weights suffer from varicose veins more.
  • Leg injury. Damage to veins that weaken or destroy internal valves can cause varicose veins
  • Pregnancy. Hormonal changes and changes in blood volume can lead to pregnancy related varicose veins.
  • Prolonged standing. The effect of gravity can place excessive stress on leg veins if you stand for long periods.

The more of these risk factors that you have, the more likely you are to develop varicose veins. Treatment options are available for varicose veins, and include options like laser therapy, minimally invasive surgery and at-home / conventional therapies like compression stockings.

Varicose veins may need medical attention. Legs may begin to feel heavy, or there may be numbness, itching, or a rash may develop. If serious varicose veins are not medically treated, blood clots or other health problems may occur. You should see a leg vein specialist if you have varicose veins that are large or that are painful, swollen or reddened.

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