The Risk Factors and Treatment for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are one of the most common venous problems affecting 22 million women and 11 million men in the United States. This condition is characterized by superficial veins that appear closely on your skin’s surface. The veins mostly appear on your legs and may appear dark purple or blue. Most people with Upper East Side varicose veins seek medical attention due to cosmetic reasons. However, varicose veins may be accompanied by pain and swelling, which may be a significant source of discomfort in other people. In both cases, medical treatment is essential to prevent complications, including blood clot formation.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins develop when your valves become weak or damaged. The following are some of the risk factors for varicose veins:
- Age- Older people have higher chances of developing varicose veins as aging results in the wear and tear on valves in your veins.
- Sex- Women are at a higher risk of this condition as the hormones produced during pregnancy or menopause tend to relax the vein walls. Hormonal birth control methods such as pills also increase the chances of developing varicose veins.
- Obesity- Excess body weight puts extra pressure on the veins in your legs. This may weaken the valves or cause them to collapse, resulting in varicose veins. Losing and maintaining a healthy weight may help improve symptoms such as pain and swelling.
What Is the Treatment for Varicose Veins?
Wearing compression stockings is the most common method of treating varicose veins. Your doctor may recommend this before proceeding to other treatment options. They range from mild to extra firm. Your specialist is better positioned to advise which one is suitable for you, depending on how damaged your veins are. Compression stockings apply pressure on your legs, facilitating better blood flow. Your doctor may recommend that you wear these stockings all day for efficiency. Compression stockings can be found in medical stores, pharmacies and they vary by type and brand.
Fortunately, specific practices and lifestyle changes may ease pain and prevent existing varicose veins from worsening. For example, your doctor may advise that you lose extra weight if you are obese. This is because excess body weight exerts pressure on your legs and, as a result, damaged valves in the veins. Engaging in physical activity and eating a healthy diet are many ways to lose and maintain the required body mass index. It is also essential to avoid tight-fitting clothes, long-standing and sitting hours, which may interfere with blood circulation.
If your condition fails to improve, your doctor may recommend this treatment after wearing compression stockings and observing self-care practices. Sclerotherapy is a procedure where your health care provider injects a solution into the affected veins. If the veins are large, your doctor may use foam as it covers a larger surface area. This procedure can be done in your doctor’s office and requires no numbing medication. You may need several treatment sessions for effective results. Most patients notice improvement after a few weeks.
Besides causing pain and discomfort, varicose veins may be unsightly. If your symptoms have not improved after self-care practices, book a session with your doctor at Upper East Side Cardiology for treatment to enjoy a healthier life.