The health of your veins is more important than you might think. Most of us are familiar with spider veins and varicose veins. What you might not know is that such issues are more than a cosmetic nuisance or minor discomfort. These things can often be an indicator of a more worrisome health condition, such as chronic venous insufficiency. There’s no need to immediately become alarmed, however. There are non-invasive ways to treat vein problems. No longer are drastic measure like stripping necessary. We encourage you to learn about the importance of maintaining good venous health as well as causes of vein problems and ways to treat them.
Causes of Vein Problems
You have veins throughout your body, and their primary function is to assist in blood circulation, returning it to the heart. Problems arise when the valves inside your veins malfunction, causing blood to pool within them. Metabolic waste can accumulate within this pooled blood, leading it to become acidic. Thus, pain and swelling occur. The name for this overarching condition is venous reflux disease, or chronic venous insufficiency, which results in issues such as spider veins or varicose veins. Serious circulatory problems can develop if these conditions worsen and are left untreated.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency
Vein problems most often develop in the legs because it is most difficult for the valves to work against gravity in the lower extremities of the body. Leg pain or heaviness may be one of the initial symptoms noticed by someone with venous insufficiency, or VI. Throbbing or itching sensations in the leg are other common symptoms. Swelling of the legs, ankles or feet may also be experienced. The area may also feel warm to the touch. Vein disease has been discovered to be a contributor to restless legs syndrome.
About Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
The pooled blood that accumulates in your legs can cause spider veins to appear. These are the thin web of veins that appear close to the surface of the skin and usually have a red or purplish color. Spider veins may exist without any venous insufficiency. In this case, they are merely a cosmetic issue. An ultrasound can identify whether broken valves are present, meaning venous function is insufficient.
Varicose veins are thicker than spider veins, and they often have a rope-like appearance to them. They’re likely red or blue, but sometimes they may not even be visible because they are deeper beneath the skin’s surface than spider veins. Leaking or failed valves are the cause of varicose veins. The pooled blood within the veins leads to the bulging, twisting and enlarged appearance.
Possible Treatments for Venous Insufficiency
Advanced treatments make surgery for vein conditions a rare occurrence today. Laser or radiofrequency energy is often used to eradicate problematic veins. Sclerotherapy agents injected into the vein can also effectively treat them.
Maintaining good venous health is quite important. By taking proactive measures, potentially serious circulatory problems can be avoided. Make an appointment at the South Texas Vein Institute in Edinburg if you see signs of vein problems creeping up. Contact us today to request a consultation.