Varicose veins are quite common, according to stats from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which cites that around 20% of U.S. adults get varicose veins at some point.
But in spite of how common they are, varicose veins can pose a threat to your health.
Sometimes varicose veins go away on their own with little to no issues. Other times, you may require medical assistance to manage and treat varicose veins before they cause complications.
Potential Problems from Untreated Varicose Veins
Here are some of the complications that can arise from untreated varicose veins.
Since gnarled, swollen varicose veins slow down blood flow and make it less efficient overall, you can experience circulatory issues from untreated varicose veins.
Many patients who have varicose veins report experiencing poor circulation, which can result in the following symptoms:
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Pins and needles sensations
- Coldness in the appendages
In more serious cases, you could also experience chest pain as a result of varicose veins.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a term for blood clots that form in deep veins.
DVT can be a potentially life-threatening condition because blood clots can travel through your veins and into your bloodstream, where they risk getting stuck in your lungs.
When this happens, it’s known as a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms can be fatal and require emergency treatment.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
This condition, also known as CVI, happens from blood pooling in your leg veins. Chronic venous insufficiency makes it hard for your circulatory system to transport blood from your legs up to your heart.
This can result in inadequate circulation, which causes fluid to build up in your legs. When this happens, it’s known as edema.
Individuals who have edema often report experiencing weakness, cramps, and pain in their legs. As if the pain wasn’t enough, CVI can also limit your mobility, which can reduce your overall quality of life.
Phlebitis is a condition where your veins are inflamed. When the veins are more superficial (meaning closer to the top of the skin), it’s known as SVT or superficial thrombophlebitis.
SVT can be very painful.
Can You Prevent Varicose Veins from Forming or Worsening?
There are some actions you can take to prevent varicose veins from forming or worsening, but you should be advised that it’s sometimes not possible to prevent them from forming.
Compression socks can be a useful method for managing varicose veins or keeping them from forming or getting worse. If you are genetically predisposed to varicose veins, talk to your provider about whether compression socks would be an advisable addition to your lifestyle.
How do you know if you’re genetically predisposed? Take a look at your older relatives and note the frequency of varicose veins.
Why do compression socks work in some cases for varicose veins? Because compression helps blood flow more efficiently, which prevents it from pooling.
A healthy lifestyle of movement and an appropriate weight range can also be beneficial in managing varicose veins. You should try to have as much movement in your day as possible. Little activities like walking to and from your car or cleaning up around your home count as movement.
If possible, take the stairs at the office instead of the elevator. Park at the end of the parking lot instead of right next to the grocery store.
In addition to this everyday movement, add exercise to your routine to keep your blood moving and help manage your weight.
Clinical treatments for varicose veins include:
- Vein closure
Each of these treatments is non-surgical and minimally invasive, which means that there’s little downtime and no general anesthesia associated with either procedure.
Vein closure uses heat to close the vein, which causes it to collapse on itself. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution to cause the vein to collapse. Both treatments result in the damaged vein being absorbed into local tissue.
A microphlebectomy actually removes veins that are too small for sclerotherapy treatment.
Varicose Vein Treatment with Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center
For help treating varicose veins, contact Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center. Our team of medical professionals will guide you through your options so you can make an informed, comfortable choice regarding vein treatment.