If you’ve been diagnosed with, or you think you may have, varicose veins, you’re not alone. In fact, these dilated bulging bluish-purple veins that can be seen and often felt under the surface of the skin are present in up to 30% of people. i We know they’re common…but who gets varicose veins? Are you at risk?
Valves are structures found inside veins, and their function is to allow a one-way flow of blood: this way, there is no backflow. The leading cause of varicose veins in New York is insufficient veins and malfunctioning valves. In some cases, patients have weak valves due to stretched-out veins that have lost their elasticity. If the veins do not function properly, blood will leak backward and collect in a pool, making the specific part of the veins swell.
Varicose veins risk factors.
Certain factors increase your risk of developing this condition. For example;
Being a woman means that you are more likely to get varicose veins than a man. Evidence suggests that women have specific hormones that can cause relaxation of venous walls leading to varicose veins.
2. Having a close family member with varicose veins
Some genetic variations are associated with varicose veins. Therefore, if you have a history of varicose veins in your family, you will likely develop the condition.
3. Older age
Aging causes most body parts to weaken and lose their integrity, including the veins, which become prone to leaking and swelling.
4. Being overweight
Being heavyweight puts a lot of pressure on your peripheral region and on the way your veins pump blood. Eventually, the blood vessels become weak and may develop into varicose veins.
5. Having a job that involves extended periods of standing
Blood flow is not efficient when you are standing. For this reason, standing for long can cause varicose veins.
One of the changes pregnant women experience is blood volume increase to support the mother and the developing fetus. However, as blood increases, it forces the veins to pump blood harder. As a result, stretching and weakening may occur, causing the blood to leak.
7. Other conditions
In some cases, diseases like blood clots and pelvis tumors may increase your risk of having varicose veins.
Do you need to see a doctor?
Although varicose veins are not a severe problem, you may need to visit a doctor if you experience any discomfort. Some patients may also want to treat the aesthetic concerns the condition causes.
What is the procedure for varicose veins diagnosis?
Your doctor will examine your legs while standing, checking for signs of swelling and noting the appearance and size of the veins to understand the severity of your condition. Your care provider will determine if you fall under the category of patients most likely to develop varicose veins because of the risk factors. For this reason, he will check for your body mass index, family history or conduct a pregnancy test.
Your doctor may conduct a duplex ultrasound scan to get a clear picture of your veins using high-frequency sound waves. The resulting image will indicate any venous damage by enabling your doctor to observe your blood flow.
If you have varicose veins causing discomfort, irritation, soreness on the skin, or bleeding, contact Upper East Side Cardiology to begin treatment immediately.