Varicose veins are one of the common problems that middle-aged people come across. These are the swollen veins that appear to bulge out from the skin surface, mostly on the legs. While they can cause medical challenges in some people, they are more of aesthetic concern for many. The red, blue or flesh-colored veins can give your legs and unsightly appearance. Despite the fact that varicose veins are so common, the awareness related to the problem is lacking. Knowing more about this issue can go a long way in helping you to address it in a more effective way. Here are some facts that everyone should know about varicose veins:
1. They are not same as spider veins
To begin with, you need to know how to distinguish varicose veins from spider veins because most of the people tend to use these terms interchangeably. However, the only thing they have in common is their unsightly appearance. While varicose veins are usually blue-colored, large and bulging, spider veins are red or purple, small and flat. The former require more intensive treatment in comparison to the latter.
2. They have malfunctioning valves
Varicose veins are a key indication of the deteriorating Vein health because they are the result of malfunctioning valves. The valves in the leg veins are responsible for pumping up the blood to the heart. When these valves stop working properly, the blood pools up in the veins and cause them to stretch, resulting in a change of color and a bulging appearance. Most of the times, this malfunction of the valves is genetic in nature.
3. There are identifiable risk factors for the condition
There are certain risk factors that can help you to identify your chances for developing varicose veins. The risk increases with advancing age because your veins get weaker as you get older. Family history is another key risk factor as 50% of people with the problem have it in the family. Similarly, women are at a higher risk as compared to men. Pregnancy, obesity and previous leg trauma are some other factors that increase the risk of varicose veins.
4. They may or may not be painful
Another important fact that you need to know about varicose veins is that they may or may not be painful. Besides pain, they can be characterized by other symptoms such as swelling, numbness, itching, burning, fatigue, restless legs and heaviness. Even if you do not experience these symptoms, a close watch is needed to detect varicose veins in time. Timely diagnosis and treatment is essential to check the condition before it gets serious.
5. There are a number of treatment options
Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options for the condition. The good old compression stockings are effective enough in most cases. As the name suggests, they act on the varicose veins by compressing them. They can be easily bought from a surgical stores and come in knee-high, thigh-high and waist-high sizes. Besides this traditional therapy, there are some advanced treatment options which can be availed at vein clinics. These include endovenous laser therapy and sclerotherapy. Vein clinics come up with tailored treatment plans based on the patient’s condition and severity of the problem.
6. Exercise is an effective preventive measure
While it is important to look for a right treatment strategy for varicose veins, you should also try to find out more about the preventive measures. The best way to prevent them from appearing is to maintain a regular exercise routine. Circulation-boosting activities such as jogging, climbing stairs and swimming are the recommended exercises to keep your veins in a great shape. Regular exercise also promotes weight control, which is another important way to prevent the appearance of varicose veins.
7. They are not just a cosmetic problem
Many people have a misconception that varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem. The mindset makes the take this problem lightly and they seldom get medical attention for it. However, the issue can be linked with long term health problems such as blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. Therefore, it is advisable to consider them as a serious health concern and connect with a reputed vein clinic for regular checkups and treatment.
Being aware about a health condition is the first step towards getting it resolved. Besides taking the right preventive measures to control varicose veins, you should be vigilant about their appearance. They can be treated effectively once you have them diagnosed on time and get help from a specialist.