Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins that mostly appear in the legs and feet. They are a common problem in the United States, affecting about 23% of the adult population. Most people with varicose veins seek treatment due to their unsightly appearance; however, sometimes, you may need to see your cardiovascular doctor Tomball for treatment to alleviate symptoms such as pain and swelling.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins develop due to increased blood pressure in the veins. Your veins have one-way valves which open to allow blood to flow to the heart and close to prevent its backflow. Sometimes the valves may weaken, allowing blood to pool or collect in the veins, which causes the veins to enlarge. Here are factors that increase your chances of varicose veins.
Risk factors for varicose veins
- Old age
The valves in your veins gradually wear and tear as you advance in age. Eventually, they become weak, allowing some blood to flow back and pool in the veins.
During pregnancy, blood volume increases to support the growth and development of the fetus. While this is important, it may cause the veins in your legs and feet to enlarge.
People whose jobs require standing or sitting for long hours are susceptible to varicose veins. Being in a sedentary position impedes blood flow. As a result, blood doesn’t flow and pools in the veins in your feet and legs.
- Family history
You are more likely to develop varicose veins if there is a predisposition to this problem in your family.
Varicose veins are more common in women due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstrual periods, and menopause. Taking birth control pills also relaxes vein walls, increasing the risk for varicose veins.
Treatment for varicose veins
Treatment for varicose veins may include self-care measures, compression stockings, less invasive procedures, and surgery. That which your provider recommends depends on the severity of the symptoms. Before visiting your doctor, you can elevate your legs while sitting or lying down to help blood flow towards your heart. If you are overweight, losing weight can help relieve the pressure on veins. Participating in low-impact activities such as yoga, walking, swimming, and aerobics also helps circulation.
If your symptoms don’t improve with self-care, your provider may recommend that you wear compression stockings all day to help squeeze veins and move blood efficiently. Sometimes self-care measures and compression stockings may not work, and your provider may recommend other procedures such as:
For this treatment, your provider injects a solution into the varicose veins, causing them to scar and eventually fade away. The doctor uses foam if the veins are large since it covers a larger surface area. You don’t require anesthesia for this procedure, and you can receive the treatment in your doctor’s office.
Your doctor may recommend other procedures, including laser treatment, high ligation and vein stripping, and ambulatory phlebectomy.
If your varicose veins don’t improve with self-care measures such as exercising, visit your provider at Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., for treatment to alleviate symptoms.