Are You at a Higher Risk for Vein Disease?

Are You at a Higher Risk for Vein Disease?

Are You at a Higher Risk for Vein Disease?

Your veins serve a crucial role in your body. When the heart beats, it pumps blood through the circulatory system to every part of your body. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart, while veins return oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. If the valves inside your veins become damaged, the valves may not close completely and allow blood to leak or flow in both directions. Here are common vein diseases and what you need to know.

Risk factors

About 30-60 percent of adults have vein disease, and your risk increases with age. People who have vein disease in their family, have experience pregnancy, sit or stand for long periods of time, are obese, take hormonal therapy or experience chronic constipation are at greater risk of developing vein diseases.

Symptoms

Symptoms of vein disease most often include a heaviness in your legs, bulging veins or swollen, ropey veins. You may have a persistent itching or burning in your skin around varicose veins or an aching or cramping in the legs, especially after you sit or stand for a long period of time.

Types of vein disease

Blood clots can be found in your arms, legs, in the veins of internal organs, or in the brain. Deep vein thrombosis is an especially dangerous blood clot that occurs in a deep leg vein that has the potential to break free and travel through the bloodstream and into the lung.

Varicose and spider veins are dilated blood vessels that are caused by a weakening in the blood vessel wall. Spider veins do not usually pose a serious medical problem, but varicose veins cause swelling and discomfort and may be more serious problems.

Treatment options

There are various treatment options for vein diseases. Ambulatory phlebectomy, laser surgery and sclerotherapy are minimally invasive options for both varicose and spider veins.