Varicose veins can often go untreated and many people do not know how or why they occur. Often, people see them as merely a skin defect and do not bother to have them looked at. The matter of fact is that this medical issue does need to be looked at by a doctor and treated accordingly. If anyone ever experiences bulging veins they should visit a vein clinic to get them assessed.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are leg veins that do not pump blood to the heart the way that they should, if at all. Blood vessels contain small valves that push the blood upwards towards to heart and sometimes these vales no longer function. As a result, the blood in these blood vessels fails to be pumped properly and end up ‘leaking’ down the blood vessel due to gravity.
Because there is now extra pressure, they begin to bulge outwards. The rest of the functioning veins manage to compensate for the failure however it can lead to other health risks and should therefore be checked.
Should they be left untreated, there are a few potential medical risks that can arise. One of the earlier effects is that the surrounding skin becomes inflamed due to the blood that ‘leaks’ down the vein. If left untreated for an extended period, it can cause a brown pigmentation, hardening of the skin and even a skin ulcer.
Those with varicose veins are also at higher risk of a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis. This is the most dangerous consequence if left untreated and requires immediate medical attention.
Causes and Risk Factors
Whilst the exact cause of varicose veins is unknown, one of the biggest risk factors is the family gene pool. There is a strong link between family members experiencing the issue. It is believed that pregnancy and standing for a long period of time can also be a contributing factor.
It is said that professions requiring standing for long hours in the day such as tradesman and hairdressers are at higher risk and therefore it is recommended that they take a moment to sit down every hour for a couple of minutes to reduce the strain on the legs.
For anyone experiencing pain in their blood vessels or those involved in these professions requiring long standing hours, it is also recommended that they avoid exposure to excessive heat at these times e.g. hot tubs, spas, saunas. This is because heat increases inflammation and swelling and will also increase vein distention.
For anyone experiencing any pain in their leg veins, it is recommended that they attend a vein clinic to get them looked at.
Varicose veins can sometimes be painful and are most often characterised by a large bulging vein in the leg. The pain can lead to a dull ache or heavy feeling in the legs. Many people experiencing this issue may often have restless legs.
Occasionally, a brown pigment can be seen around the blood vessel which is a sign that it is of a more severe nature and should be treated immediately at a vein clinic to reduce the risk of any further damage.
Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of varicose veins by keeping fitness levels high to encourage a strong heart and other muscles. Remaining active to constantly engage all muscles in the body will help to reduce to burden placed on an individual’s legs and therefore reduce the risk.
For those in a family with a history of varicose vains, it is important to understand the symptoms and keep an eye out for them as well as living a healthy lifestyle.