You may have heard people talk about varicose veins from time to time and were not sure exactly what the term implied. All you knew was that the term referred to some type of vascular condition. While this level of knowledge may be adequate for many people, a little more basic information can be valuable if you ever find yourself faced with a problem for which you need help. Understanding some of the causes and gaining knowledge about available treatment options will contribute to prevent you from suffering needlessly should you ever develop the condition known as varicose veins.
Varicose veins form when the blood is not flowing properly through the veins in question, and they become enlarged as a result. More people have varicose veins in their legs than anywhere else. The purpose of the veins is to transfer the blood back to the lungs so it can be replenished with oxygen. It is then delivered through the arteries throughout the body to supply all the tissue with life-giving oxygen. When the oxygen is used up, the veins return it for a fresh supply.
Inside the veins are valves in various places. The purpose of them is to act as one-way check valves to help prevent the blood from flowing backward within the vessels. Things like the force of gravity pulling down on the blood in the vessels can make it tend to flow backward. When the valves deteriorate to the point that they are no longer functioning as they should, the blood can actually begin to flow backward. Because this backward flow works against the pumping action of the heart to keep the blood flowing the right way, increased pressure is placed against the walls of the vessels. This causes them to become enlarged and become varicose.
The legs are the most common locations for the formation of varicose veins. The reason for this: because the legs are lower than most other parts of the body, the blood must be pumped harder against gravity to keep it going in the right direction. Blood can begin to pool inside the vessels when the valves no longer work correctly.
Varicose veins frequently bulge out from the skin and can resemble cords or small pieces of rope as they twist and turn under the skin’s surface. They can also appear blue in color. Many people seek treatment simply for the sake of appearance.
In addition to the negative impact varicose veins can have on appearance, they can also cause symptoms that make life uncomfortable at times. People with the condition frequently experience pain, numbness, itching, burning and swelling in their legs. These symptoms are more prevalent in people who must spend a lot of time either on their feet or in a stationary seated position for extended periods of time.
If you or a loved one is having a first-hand experience with varicose veins, you might want to make an appointment at The Vein Center where you can have your condition evaluated and discuss treatment options. Our office is located in Mt. Pleasant, SC. There are a variety of treatments available, most of which can be done in a doctor’s office. To find out which treatment is best for you, contact us today to schedule your appointment.