What Are Varicose Veins, and Can They Be Harmful?

What Are Varicose Veins, and Can They Be Harmful?

Many people have larger than usual veins in their legs that they do not give consideration to. Some may think it is normal for veins to get larger because of the type of work they do. This may even be thought of as being a normal process of aging. Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that commonly affect the veins in the legs. They are generally caused by excess pressure on the lower body like standing and walking. Most people have what is called spider veins. This is a moderate form of varicose veins that is typically a cosmetic concern. For others, varicose veins can be painful and cause much discomfort. They can also lead to more serious health problems.

Symptoms of varicose veins

Everyone may not experience pain with varicose, but there are other symptoms to be aware of. The most common symptom is a discoloration of the veins in the legs. If they are purplish or dark blue, there is a cause for concern. Another symptom is the appearance of a bulging or twisted vein that look like cords on the legs. When painful veins occur, the legs may seem heavy and achy. The legs may burn, swell, throb, or cramp in the lower part. Itching and discoloration may appear around the vein, and the pain may worsen after standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Treatment is available

The next step for varicose vein relief is to see a doctor. There are several home remedies to try like wearing compression hose, elevating the legs, and exercise, but when this does not alleviate the pain or the appearance, you should consult a doctor especially if you are concerned about the way they look. Wearing thermals in winter can help with blood flow. Damaged or weak valves lead to varicose veins which could have an effect on the return blood flow to the heart. A doctor can inform you of the treatment options available for varicose veins.

Varicose veins can be treated

Varicose vein treatment can include vein ablation, which is a minimally invasive, image guided treatment. It uses laser energy to cauterize and close the abnormal varicose veins. Treatments for varicose veins do not always require a hospital stay, or long periods of recovery. Many of the treatment options are less invasive and can be done on an outpatient basis. Treatments for more severe varicose veins include sclerotherapy where the doctor injects a solution into the veins to close them.

Varicose veins do not have to remain the painful, discolored, and bulging uncomfortable veins that many women and men suffer with. There are ways of minimizing the discomfort and appearance of even the most severe cases of varicose veins. Self-care may work in many instances, but when these treatments fail to provide the success needed, do not hesitate to see your doctor. They will not heal or get better all by themselves. One treatment that will be stressed by doctors if their patients are overweight is to lose some of the excess weight. Have a lifestyle change and start eating healthier and exercising for optimal relief of the pain of varicose veins. Varicose veins can be prevented with proper diet and exercise.


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