Understanding Vein Disease
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins with their associated symptoms and complications constitutes the most common of all vascular disorders of the legs.
Approximately 25 million people in the United States suffer from this condition. Varicose veins are enlarged veins at or close to the skin’s surface.
They may be large and rope-like or small and spider-like. Varicose veins are caused by blood pooling in the veins that carry blood back up to the heart.
What Is Venous Insufficiency?
Venous insufficiency or reflux develops when the valves that usually keep the blood flowing up from your legs and back towards your heart become damaged or diseased. Varicose veins can develop from this reflux due to the pressure caused by the broken valves in the legs. In the majority of patients with venous insufficiency, the cause is hereditary vein wall weakness. Standing and sedentary occupations can contribute to the disease. The diseased veins also tend to get worse with age, increased weight, and pregnancy, but anyone can develop this condition.
What Are the Symptoms?
People suffering from vein disease can suffer from leg pain, swelling, restless legs, night cramps, throbbing, numbness, burning, itching, a heavy feeling in their legs, skin discoloration, and leg ulcers. Most diabetic leg sores are actually due to vein disease and are curable.
Am I a Candidate for Treatment?
If you can answer yes to any of the leg symptoms listed below, you may be a candidate for treatment.
Do you have any of the following?
Tiredness or fatigue
Pain in the legs
Swollen, red or warm to the touch
Leg or foot cramps, especially at night
Large bulging veins or small spider veins
Ulcers or sores in the leg, usually close to the ankle
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO SEEK TREATMENT?
Vein disease generally worsens with time. Without treatment, you run the risk of developing more serious problems including increased tenderness and inflammation, blood clots, and permanent changes in skin color and texture. You may also develop sores on your legs that take a long time to heal, or you may spontaneously bleed from a varicose vein. In the United States, an average of six million work days per year are lost due to the complications of varicose veins.