Varicose veins: from faint green veins to bulging networks of blood vessels that ache and burn from time to time, around one-quarter of the population is affected by them. For the most part, varicose veins can be harmless however there are some instances where the vein damage is linked to other health conditions. If you’re unsure if you should undergo treatment, read on as we show you three signs it’s time to get your varicose veins treated.
How do varicose veins develop?
Veins are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood from around the body, back up to the heart. However, when vein valves, or vein walls, become damaged they can lead to Chronic Venous Insufficiency. As well as swelling and skin discolouration, one of the symptoms of CVI is varicose veins. When blood is not able to flow back up to the heart, it begins to reflux or pool, forming twisted, enlarged vessels you know as varicose veins.
Varicose veins: who is most vulnerable?
The most common reason why varicose veins form, is unfortunately out of your control. Both maternal and paternal genetics play a significant factor in your vulnerability to vein disease. Your unique genetic profile determines the strength of your vein walls, valves and muscle density. All of which provide support to your circulatory system.
Another significant contributor which is not within your control is age. As each year passes, the aging process results in wear and tear on blood vessels and vein valves that regulate healthy blood flow. When this happens, the faulty valves start allowing small amounts of blood to flow back and reflux in your veins instead of being returned to the heart.
Three signs it’s time to get your varicose veins treated:
The symptoms are progressing
This is a general rule of thumb with any health injuries. If the symptoms of your issue keep on getting worse, whether it’s a sore wrist or a cough, it’s crucial to have it treated as soon as possible to prevent more serious issues developing. This is no less important for veins.
Varicose veins carry a range of symptoms including aches and swelling, hot burning sensations, itchiness in the legs and fatigue in the muscles. If you find that these symptoms are becoming more common, more severe when they occur, or you develop new symptoms along with your current ones, then it’s a timely sign that you should see a vein professional and set up the best treatment for you.
Lifestyle and related health issues
There are times when we can think of health issues as standalone problems. However, the truth is that our illnesses, issues and general health are heavily interconnected. Vein health in the legs can affect and be affected by our diet, muscle fitness and other conditions. These include diabetes, blood pressure, respiratory conditions and more.
If you’re overweight, a smoker or you have health issues that affect your blood-flow like low blood pressure, diabetes, haemophilia or something else, then varicose veins can pose a more serious risk to you. Getting treatment early gives you the best chance to stay on top of these conditions.
Aesthetic and appearance
Varicose veins can appear unsightly and unpleasant, with bulging clusters of veins in green and blue tones flaring up across the legs. While in some cases this is purely aesthetic, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an impact on the person’s life. When your physical appearance is altered by factors you can’t always control, it can lead to a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Also, in some cases deterioration of mental health.
It’s important not to underestimate how we feel about our bodies. And while a positive body image is the most important thing here, having these veins removed can benefit your physical and mental health. It is therefore definitely worth considering.
What can happen when varicose veins remain untreated?
One of the things to remember if you have varicose veins is that they are a circulatory disorder. The tiny valves in your veins that were supposed to keep blood flowing up towards the heart are damaged. This is due to a condition called chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. As a result, over time your circulation may become worse and worse, causing changes in the colour and texture of your legs.
Your skin may start to turn brown in colour and become more brittle and fragile, and thus more susceptible to injury. Minor scrapes can turn into open, bleeding sores. These are called venous ulcers and do not respond to topical treatment and refuse to heal. 70% of all venous ulcers are due to varicose veins, caused by a kind of “domino effect.” The varicose veins lead to reflux, which leads to venous hypertension, and impaired microcirculation. This then leads to tissue responses as the skin covering the veins fail to get the oxygen they need. The result is a bleeding skin ulcer.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work
To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.