What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose Veins — Ugly and Dangerous
Varicose veins look awful and nobody likes seeing them. Appearance aside, they can be dangerous. They can cause bleeding or blood clots in the legs and may signal a more serious condition called chronic venous insufficiency — which can lead to eczema, hard/tight skin or venous ulcers.
Causes of varicose veins
Your heart pumps blood throughout your body but, to get the blood back to your heart, your muscles pump it. Since most of your body is below the heart, the veins contain valves that prevent the blood from flowing away from the heart through gravity. When these valves weaken or suffer damage, blood backflows and pools in the legs causing veins to swell, twist or stretch.
Like many medical conditions, there are risk factors that boost your chances of getting varicose veins:
As we age, the risk increases due to normal wear and tear. Female hormones tend to relax vein walls, so women, because of the hormonal changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, may be at added risk. Genetics probably play a role; the more family members afflicted, the more likely other family members will be afflicted. Obesity adds workload and pressure to your veins, as does standing or sitting for long periods of time — muscle activity moves the blood, so keep it moving!
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Sometimes, the most noticeable symptom is pain, and, sometimes, not. Pain may manifest as an ache or heavy feeling in the legs; a burning, throbbing or cramping feeling which increases after sitting or standing for long periods; itching around one or more of your veins is also possible.
Another noticeable symptom is swelling in the lower legs.
Discoloration may also present itself. The enlarged veins may appear dark purple or blue, their normal almost linear shape may appear twisted or bulging; they may look like cords on your legs. “Spider veins” are a variant, similar to varicose veins, but smaller. They may appear red or blue and are found closer to the surface on the face as well as the legs.
Varicose veins are a common condition and some patients, those whose signs and symptoms are minor, will find simple lifestyle changes to be effective in reducing their appearance. In more serious cases, where diet and exercise are insufficient, you need a long-term plan by an experienced practitioner.
Among other treatments, we offer a vascular ultrasound to evaluate your situation. In less than an hour, it helps determine narrowing or blockage within an artery; can rule out aneurysmal disease or thrombotic events like blood clots. It’s the go-to method for evaluating possible varicose veins, ruling out blood clots and other conditions.
Over 12,000 vascular patients have been treated by OMNY since the practice was founded in 2008 by Dr. Ali Aboufares. Their testimonials are numerous and generous regarding both our medical and cosmetic vein treatments. Our staff provides every patient with the same vein treatment quality care level they’d provide to a family member. Contact us today, we look forward to helping you!