Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that form under the skin’s surface. They look either in purple or dark blue colour. Varicose veins occur as the blood pools in the leg veins due to weak valves. They do not occur due to any reason but there are certain risk factors for developing varicose veins.
Are There Any Signs of Varicose Veins?
If you have varicose veins, the following are the signs you will experience:
- Swollen ankles and legs
- Throbbing pain in the legs
- Leg muscle cramps that become severe at night
- Painful and heavy legs
- Severe pain in legs after sitting or standing for a longer period
- Skin colour changes at the site of varicose veins
- Itching around the varicose veins
If you experience any of the above signs, you should visit a doctor for an early diagnosis.
Who are At Risk of Developing Varicose Veins?
Everyone thinks that varicose veins develop as they get older. Though it is a fact, anyone can develop varicose veins in their 20s as well. The following people are at risk of developing varicose veins:
- People older than 40 years: Both men and women who are older than 40 years are at a greater risk of developing varicose veins. Women are more prone to varicose veins due to hormonal changes. But men are also at risk of developing varicose veins.
- Use of hormone medications: If a woman is using birth control pills or hormone therapy, she is at more risk of developing varicose at menopause.
- Family history: A family history of varicose veins can also make you at risk of developing varicose veins. The reason is that the leaked valves can be genetic. Though you cannot prevent genetic factors, you can follow certain healthy habits to reduce the risk.
- Overweight: Being overweight is also a greater risk factor for developing varicose veins. Being obese can put more pressure on your veins. If you are obese, you do not even realise that you have varicose veins due to excess fat. If it is left untreated for a long time, the pressure at these veins can cause damage to the skin under the legs.
- History of blood clots: Having a blood clot can damage your vein and can further lead to weakened veins. As a result, it can lead to varicose veins.
- Damaged or injured vein: If your vein gets damaged or injured due to trauma, the veins become weak and lead to varicose veins.
- People who have a sedentary lifestyle: If your job demands you to sit for a long time, you are at a greater risk of developing varicose veins. This is because sitting for a long period stops the blood from flowing against gravity. Practise regular exercise to enhance the health of your veins.
- People who stand for a long time: If you are working as a teacher, flight attendant etc., you need to stand for a long period. This puts more pressure on your veins and can lead to varicose veins.
- Pregnant women: The size of the uterus increases during pregnancy and this puts pressure on the inferior vena cava. This further increase pressure in the leg veins and blood gets pooled in the legs. If you already have varicose veins, it can even get worse during pregnancy. But if it is developed during pregnancy, it disappears after childbirth.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins?
Taking proper measures can help you reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. The following are some of them:
- Follow low-impact exercises such as swimming, and biking
- Wear flats and avoid heels if you are a woman
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid sitting or standing for a long duration
- Follow exercises such as walking to improve blood circulation
- Always try to elevate your legs and feet whenever possible
- Use support stockings to prevent blood pooling
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If you have any signs of varicose veins, Dr Pradyumna Reddy can help you. He is experienced in treating varicose veins and has helped several patients suffering from varicose veins. He uses the latest tools and technology to make the treatment less invasive. He focuses on offering less invasive treatments so that you have less pain and can recover faster. If your varicose veins are bothering you, schedule an appointment with Dr Pradyumna Reddy today.