Vein disease affects millions of people all around the United States. Below is some information to help you understand this pervasive condition.

Defining Vein Disease

Vein disease occurs when the veins no longer function like they should. This condition typically presents as spider veins and/or varicose veins. While spider veins are small veins that are easily visible beneath the skin, varicose veins are larger, swollen and may be raised. Vein disease can also cause other physical symptoms, especially when it occurs in the legs. The most common symptoms are swelling, cramping, weakness, tingling and pain.

Causes and Risk Factors

One of the most common causes of vein disease is the failure of the valves within the veins. In a healthy vein, valves close to prevent blood from flowing backward. However, when valves are weak, blood tends to pool in the vein instead of flowing back to the heart like it should. This is especially common in the legs and feet.

Some of the most common risk factors for vein disease include:

  • Obesity – Extra weight puts stress on your veins, which can increase the risk of valve failure.
  • Family history – Some people have a genetic predisposition for developing abnormal veins.
  • Sex – Women develop vein disease more often than men.
  • Age – As you get older, your risk of developing varicose veins or spider veins increases.

What Can I Do?

If you think you have developed vein disease, there are steps you can take to resolve the symptoms.

1. Lose weight and increase physical activity.

If you are overweight, you may be able to reduce the symptoms of vein disease and prevent the condition from getting worse by losing excess weight. Participating in regular physical activity can also be beneficial for people with vein disease.

2. Wear compression stockings.

If you have varicose veins in your legs, wearing compression stockings may alleviate your symptoms and improve the appearance of your veins. If possible, try to elevate your legs frequently throughout the day as well.

3. Visit a vein clinic.

For many patients, at-home treatment won’t resolve all of the symptoms of vein disease. However, the vascular surgeons at a vein clinic can recommend procedures that may be effective, including sclerotherapy, laser treatment and ambulatory phlebectomy. Call Metro Vein Centers in Sugar Land to learn more.