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All About Vericose Veins Condition - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

19 October, 2020 Arindam Chakraborty

What are Varicose Veins? 

The varicose vein is a condition in which the veins at a region in the body become twisted and enlarged. This condition commonly affects the veins in the lower limbs. However, any superficial veins can become varicose.

Varicose veins can be painful and can cause a lot of discomfort to the affected individual. Sometimes this condition can lead to more serious problems.

There are medicines available to provide relief from pain; however, they should only be consumed after consulting with a doctor to avoid adverse drug effects. These medicines can be purchased from any retail pharmacy or by using an online pharmacy delivery app.

What are the Symptoms Associated with Varicose Veins?

Common symptoms associated with varicose veins may include: 

  • Dark-colored (purple or blue) veins
  • Veins may appear twisted and bulging
  • Aches in lower limbs with a burning and throbbing sensation
  • Muscle cramps in the legs
  • Itching sensation in the veins
  • Discoloration around the veins 

Another condition which similar to varicose veins is the Spider vein. Spider veins are smaller in comparison to varicose veins. They look like a spider's web and develop on the legs or the face of the affected individual. They are often red or blue.

What are the Causes of Leading to Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins can be caused by weak and damaged valves. Arteries help in the circulation of oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The veins bring back the deoxygenated blood from the rest of the body to the heart. 

This process involves veins in the legs working against gravity to circulate blood back to the heart facilitated by muscle contractions in the lower legs, acting as pumps. Tiny valves in the veins help in the proper circulation of blood between the veins and the heart. Any damage to these valves weakens its integrity and the blood can become stagnant in the veins, causing them to stretch or twist. This stretching and twisting can ultimately lead to the development of varicose veins.

How Can Varicose Veins be Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of the varicose veins condition involves the physical examination of the legs while in a standing position. This is done to check for swelling in the lower limbs. 

Ultrasound test to check the valves in the veins for normal functionality and any blood clot may be recommended by the consulting physician

Can Varicose Veins be Treated?

Fortunately, treatment for varicose veins does not usually involve a hospital admission or a long and uncomfortable recovery process. Varicose veins can be treated with less invasive procedures. 

Self-care measures can help in decreasing the discomfort associated with varicose veins. These same measures can also help in the prevention or slow the development of varicose veins. They include regular exercise, body mass index (BMI) control, sitting at right postures, and so on. 

Compression stockings help provide relief from the pain. They steadily squeeze the legs, which helps in the circulation of blood in the veins and other leg muscles.

Compression stockings can be purchased at most of the retail and online medical store and medical supply stores.

In case the condition is more severe, a consulting physician may suggest one of these varicose vein treatments: 

  1. Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, a solution or foam is injected into small- and medium-sized varicose veins. This solution scars and closes these veins, and in a few weeks the scarred veins recover. 
  2. Laser Treatment: In this treatment, strong bursts of high-intensity laser are sent into the varicose veins, which makes them slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are required in this treatment regimen. 
  3. Catheter-Assisted Procedures: In this treatment procedure, the doctor inserts a catheter into the enlarged vein and delivers bursts of high-intensity radiofrequency or laser into the veins. When the catheter is pulled out, the heat seals the exposed vein. This procedure is mainly done for larger varicose veins. 
  4. High Ligation and Vein Stripping: This procedure involves removing the varicose vein through small incisions. This is an outpatient procedure. 
  5. Ambulatory Phlebectomy: In this process, smaller varicose veins are removed through a series of tiny skin punctures. The procedure is done under local anesthesia. Scarring is very minimal in this procedure. 
  6. Endoscopic Vein Surgery: In this process, a small video camera inserted near the varicose veins, and then the veins are removed by doing small incisions. This is an outpatient procedure. 

Conclusion

People of older age are more at risk of developing varicose veins. Also, women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Improving blood circulation and muscle tone may help in decreasing the risk of developing varicose veins in the future. This can be done by avoiding putting more pressure around the legs, BMI control, and regular exercises.