What You Don’t Know About Vein Disease
By the time you’re 50, if you’re a woman, you have a 4 in 10 chance of developing significant problems with leg veins. For men it is 2 out of 10. Vein disease is much more than ugly spider veins on your face and varicose veins on your legs.
We feel it is important to educate our patients about the range of problems that can affect your veins and have an impact on your health.
Why Veins Are Crucial
Blood circulating in our bodies keeps us alive. Arteries, the largest blood vessels, carry blood from the heart to the rest of your body. Veins are much smaller and there are many more of them. They take blood back to the heart so the process can start all over again.
Each of our veins has an extremely small valve that opens as the blood flows in the direction of your heart and closes to prevent it from going backward. Certain conditions, including aging and pregnancy, make our veins and their valves weaker and less stretchy. The result is that blood flows backward and pools in the vein. This gives spider and varicose veins their dark color.
Have you noticed very tiny blue or red veins on your legs or face? In a recent study, over 80% in a research group of over 1500 people reported having them. These are spider veins, dilated blood vessels toward the surface of your skin. People often develop them around the knee too, though they can appear anywhere on your body.
Spider veins are unattractive, but they aren’t a health problem. We can get rid of them with laser treatment or a process called sclerotherapy.
Varicose veins usually appear in leg and feet because of the pressure we put on them from walking and standing, which apply a lot of pressure to the blood network in your lower body. The veins look dark blue or purple, cord-like and distended.
Most of the time they simply look unattractive, but for some of our patients, they cause pain. Many complain of a heavy feeling in their legs, burning feelings, itching around the area of the vein and sometimes skin ulcers by the ankle.
Varicose veins are the result of aging, obesity and pregnancy and CVI.
Chronic Vein Insufficiency (CVI)
Chronic venous insufficiency is an ongoing problem with the tiny valves in your veins, allowing blood to flow backward. As well as leading to varicose veins and spider veins, it compromises your circulatory system, putting extra pressure on your heart.
Scleroderma, which is a side effect of CVI, is one of the common causes of acid reflux. In men erectile dysfunction can indicate the presence of vein problems.
Beside physical problems, CVI can lead to depression in two ways. First, less oxygen and nutrients get to your brain because of your impaired circulatory system. Both are critical for a healthy mental state. Second, our patients, especially women, can suffer a loss of self-esteem from the unattractive varicose and spider veins, leading to a depressed view of life.
Serious Vein Disease
You also need to be aware of two life-threatening vein conditions. Deep Vein Thrombosis, the presence of blood clots deep in veins located in the leg or pelvis. When they break free, they lead to Pulmonary Embolism, an extremely serious problem considered a medical emergency. It is caused by the blood clot actually breaking free and travelling to your lungs.
Thinking about Vein Treatment in Hollywood, Miami, or West Palm Beach? Soffer Vein has the most advanced vein treatment team in South Florida. Contact us today for a consultation (305) 792-0555.