You may have heard about varicose veins and are aware of some of the appearance issues they can cause. Unless you have experienced them first-hand, however, you may not be aware that people who have them may experience symptoms that can make things uncomfortable as well.
Varicose veins usually form in the legs. They do so when the valves that are inside the veins fail to function as they should. When these valves are working correctly, they will close off if the blood tries to flow the wrong way. This can happen when the pull of gravity works against the natural pumping action of the heart. If the valves quit working correctly, the blood starts to pool in the affected veins. This causes too much pressure to be exerted against the walls of the vessels. They then get larger and become varicose.
When varicose veins form, they are usually visible through the skin, often appearing blue. In addition, they frequently resemble cords under the skin as they bulge out in ways that are visibly obvious.
The appearance issues created by the presence of varicose veins can interfere with a person’s self-esteem. Being self-conscious about them may cause a person to dress differently. Some may even be reluctant to go out in public. In addition to the issues that are related to appearance, varicose veins can also cause symptoms and even create health risks. These symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Mild symptoms of varicose veins can include things like aching, burning, itching and some slight swelling. The aching may be accompanied by a feeling of heaviness in the legs. It is often more noticeable towards the end of the day, especially if the activities of the day have required extensive standing or sitting in one position. Sometimes, itching will occur over the entire length of the vein. Swelling can be limited to the feet and ankles in mild cases. In severe cases, it may spread up the leg and into the calf.
Another severe symptom is the buildup of fluid in the leg. This also can cause swelling. Skin color changes and open sores are other symptoms that can be serious in nature. In addition to the symptoms that varicose veins can cause, they can also put a person at a higher risk for developing blood clots.
If you have varicose veins and are either concerned about their appearance or are suffering symptoms that are making life uncomfortable, you should make an appointment at the Advanced Vein and Laser Centre to have your condition evaluated. Your medical history can be reviewed and a recommendation be made on how to best proceed. There are a variety of treatment options available. Many of these treatments are non-invasive or minimally-invasive and require very little downtime, if any at all.
Popular treatment options that are frequently used as an alternative to the more invasive vein stripping surgery include endovenous laser treatments and endovenous chemical ablation. During a consultation at our office in Libertyville, our doctor can explain the benefits of each method in more detail. We happily serve clients in the Chicago, IL and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!