When to Worry About Varicose Veins: Recognizing Signs and Seeking Help
In this article, we will explain what causes varicose veins. We will also explain how to recognize them, when to seek medical help, and what options you have to treat them.
You may have noticed dark, thick and twisted veins on your legs. These are varicose veins, and they are more than a skin issue. They can make your legs feel weary, painful or irritated, especially after being on your feet for a while. They can hinder your health and looks. But how do you know when to worry about varicose veins?
What causes varicose veins?
The answer is not obvious, because there are many factors that contribute.
One of the main causes of varicose veins is weak or damaged vein valves. Valves are like one-way doors that keep blood flowing in the right direction. When they don't work properly, blood pools in the veins and bulge. This can happen due to aging, pregnancy, obesity, or standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Another cause of varicose veins is increased pressure in the veins. This usually means something is affecting the circulation. This can be due to blood clots, inflammation, or other conditions. High blood pressure can also happen when the blood vessels that carry blood from the legs to the heart become narrow or blocked. And when blood flow is reduced, veins have to work harder to pump blood back to the heart. This can cause them to stretch and weaken over time.
These two main causes should give you some idea of when to worry about varicose veins.
How to recognize varicose veins
Now that we know what causes varicose veins, let’s talk about the signs.
Common signs of varicose veins are:
- Pain or heaviness in the legs
- Swelling in the lower legs and ankles
- Itching, burning, throbbing, or cramping around the vein
- Skin discoloration or hardening around the vein
If they are not recognized in time, varicose veins can lead to severe complications. Even though the chances are slim, some can be life-threatening. For instance, a blood clot can form in the vein and travel through the bloodstream, and if it reaches the lungs, it can cause a blockage in the pulmonary artery.
When to seek medical attention
Approximately 20% of all adults will develop varicose veins at some point in their lives. It’s critical to know when to worry about varicose veins and act. Depending on how early you recognize the signs, you can prevent them.
The discomfort resulting from varicose veins might escalate to a point where it becomes insurmountable, a sign that you need immediate medical attention. In such instances, these symptoms could signal a more serious condition like deep vein thrombosis. This condition is characterized by blood clots in the veins deep within your body, which if left untreated, could lead to life-threatening complications.
By getting timely and professional medical care, you can improve your health and well-being and avoid the risks associated with varicose veins. You can also enjoy the benefits of having healthier and more attractive legs. Don't let your varicose veins hold you back from living your best life. Contact your doctor or a vein specialist today and take charge of your health.
How to Manage and Treat Varicose Veins
While you cannot entirely avoid varicose veins, especially if they run in your family, you can minimize your risk and manage the symptoms. Here are some practical tips.
Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, avoid sitting and standing for long periods of time and elevate your legs when possible. You may wear compression stockings to reduce leg swelling. Make sure to get enough sleep, as it improves circulation and helps the body recover. Also, it's important to drink plenty of fluids and limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol. Finally, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation to reduce stress.
If these lifestyle changes do not help, you may need to consider varicose vein surgery options, such as sclerotherapy or endovenous laser ablation. Varicose vein treatments generally succeed 95%-100%. These treatments can reduce the appearance of varicose veins and improve circulation.
There are certain times when varicose veins should be taken seriously and you should be concerned about them. It is important that you pay attention to any signs of changes in your legs or discomfort, and seek medical attention if necessary.
Welfare Abroad works with reputable medical specialists in many fields including varicose vein treatments. We have served patients from the United Kingdom and all over the world for over a decade. Welfare Abroad acts as your medical travel assistant helping you find the right treatment provider for you. Not only that, we organize your accommodation, airport pickup/dropoff, and accompany you during hospital/clinic visits. The care we provide our patients doesn't end there, either. We have a dedicated aftercare team that contact patients periodically to ensure their recovery is proceeding as planned.
We strive to ensure a pleasant, smooth and stress-free experience during your medical journey. Contact us today and let's start your healing.
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