Public health authorities estimate that as many as 60% of adults suffer from some sort of vein disorder. The most common of these disorders are varicose veins and spider veins. These swollen, discoloured blood vessels were once characterised as primarily a "women's problem," and for hormonal reasons it is true that more women have them, but one-fourth of all varicose vein sufferers these days are men.
One of the reasons for this is that many more men find themselves in professions that tend to get more varicose veins than others, because their "job requirements" involve standing or sitting for long periods of time. These professions include:
- Barbers and hairdressers
- Nurses, doctors, and health professionals
- Chefs, bartenders, and servers
- Flight attendants
- Retail workers and cashiers
- Commercial drivers
- Office or computer workers
- Manufacturing workers
Why do long periods of inactivity tend to cause vein problems?
Unlike arteries, which have their own internal mechanisms for pumping blood, your veins rely on the contraction and release of the muscles that surround them to keep blood flowing properly from the extremities back to the heart and lungs. Sit or stand all day, and that pumping action – and thus your circulation – is impaired.
If this inactivity is paired with a genetic predisposition for vein disease, what can result is a condition called chronic venous insufficiency, in which the tiny valves that are supposed to keep the blood flowing in one direction start to malfunction. This allows blood to seep back into the veins, causing them to swell and become discoloured. The result is unattractive, but the ill effects of varicose veins are far from "merely cosmetic." Left untreated, varicose veins can become infected, and cause so much pain that people can barely walk.
What can you do about ugly and painful varicose veins?
Only a couple of decades ago, if you had varicose veins you generally had to "live with them." Actual varicose vein removal was an invasive surgical process that required hospitalisation, general anaesthesia, and long recovery times.
Now, thanks to advances in medical science, varicose veins can be quickly and painlessly removed. At The Vein Institute, we specialize in a number of cutting-edge "walk in, walk out" treatments that can be performed in the comfort of our clinics, and that requires little recovery time. These treatments include ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, and radiofrequency ablation. In addition, we are one of the first clinics in Australia to specialise in the use of medical superglue to close and permanently eliminate varicose veins.
If you have varicose veins and want to find out how easy it is to get rid of them, give us a call at 1 300 535 017. Also, call if you don't have varicose veins yet, but are in one of the "high risk" professions listed above – we can give you some tips on how to possibly avoid them.