Are you bothered by the way your veins look? If you have varicose veins, your problem may be more than simply cosmetic. Millions of Americans suffer from varicose vein disease and other venous diseases, yet very few of them seek medical treatment for their veins. Do your veins warrant medical intervention? Here is some information about vein disease, as well as some vein disease symptoms you should not ignore.
Before we talk about symptoms, let’s ask: what is vein disease? Vein disease, also known as venous disease, occurs when vein walls are damaged and prevent the circulatory system from functioning properly. This causes the blood to collect and flow backwards when the muscles relax, creating high pressure in the veins. This buildup causes the veins to stretch and twist, which exacerbates the problem. Twisted, swollen veins near the surface of the skin are called varicose veins, but they’re not the only example of venous disease. Thrombophlebitis occurs when a vein is inflamed because of a blood clot in the vessel. This is also called superficial thrombophlebitis, and it results in a red, tender vein. Deep-vein thrombophlebitis is a more serious condition, occurring in larger veins below the skin’s surface. It carries a risk of pulmonary embolism or chronic venous insufficiency, which means the outflow of blood through the veins is impaired.
Sometimes, people are aware of their vein disorders, because they can see varicose veins or red, tender veins from thrombophlebitis. Other times, vein disease goes undetected until it’s very serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s important to see a vein specialist as soon as possible.
- Uncomfortable legs. If your legs hurt, throb, burn or feel heavy, schedule an appointment with a vein care specialist. Heavy legs are an especially important symptom because they can be a sign of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI can lead to major complications like venous stasis ulcers and other problems with the circulatory system.
- Discolored veins. You might notice discoloration of the veins in your abdomen, legs, and feet. This could be a sign that blood is pooling instead of flowing back to the heart. It’s important to get this checked out, because it can cause pressure in the blood vessels to build up until a vessel eventually leaks. Vein discoloration can be a result of varicose veins, but it can also occur with other vascular diseases. Along with the vein discoloration, you might notice red and darker skin, skin that’s thick, hard, and scaly, swelling, or leg ulcers.
- Swelling on one or both sides of your body. When blood pools in your veins, it can cause fluid to leak from the vein into the surrounding tissues. Because of this, swelling is a very common symptom of varicose vein disease. A vein specialist can help determine the cause of your swelling and the extent of your vein disease.
- Pain that lasts a long time. If you have vein disease, you may feel the pain that increases the longer you stand or sit. Sometimes, exercising can help. When you walk at least 30 to 60 minutes a day, you provide support to your circulatory system. If you can’t walk, calisthenics exercises like squatting can also be effective. If exercising doesn’t ease the pain, make an appointment with a vein care specialist immediately. Your vein doctor can help you find the right treatment options, even if physical activity is extremely painful.
- Veins that are twisted or gnarled. These are a sign of venous insufficiency and varicose veins, and they’re twice as common in women as in men. Getting varicose vein treatment early is crucial because it can prevent your vein issues from becoming dangerous.
- Chronically itchy skin. If you’ve got an itch that won’t go away, you may have vein disease. That’s because CVI can make your veins itch! You can’t scratch your veins, and all the scratching you do on the outside of your body won’t relieve the persistent itch. Fortunately, a vein specialist can Help alleviate the problem with the right treatments.
- Varicose veins that bleed. Sometimes, if you cut or bump your leg, the varicose veins near the surface of your skin can bleed. If this happens, lie down, raise your leg, and apply pressure directly to the injury. If the bleeding continues, call for immediate medical care.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you can trust the quality of care you’ll receive at Premier Vein & Vascular Center. Our experienced and skilled team specializes in treating vein disease, not just to improve your comfort level but also to help you find long-term positive results. At our two clinics in the Houston and Cypress area, our board-certified doctors use the latest advances in vascular treatment to address the underlying cause of your symptoms. Contact us through our website or call 832-321-5355 to schedule a free vein screening and consultation.