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The Walls Of Veins To Stretch And The Valves To Deteriorate

Mar 20

Most people don’t give much thought to the damaged veins in legs, but these blood vessels are important for keeping our bodies healthy and functioning properly. Like other parts of the body, veins can become damaged and cause pain and discomfort. The symptoms of vein damage are typically mild, but they can get worse over time. Knowing the early signs of vein damage can help you get the treatment you need sooner rather than later.

Veins have a series of tiny internal valves that control the flow of blood through the veins. Each one-way valve prevents blood from flowing backward and facilitates the flow of blood toward the heart. If any of these vein valves are damaged, it can lead to a condition called varicose and spider veins. These enlarged, twisted and knotted clusters of red, blue or purple blood vessels usually develop in the leg area. Varicose and spider veins are not usually a health risk, but they can make the skin in the affected area feel heavy or swollen. They may also itch and burn.

Generally, health experts aren’t sure what causes the walls of veins to stretch and the valves to deteriorate. However, a combination of factors seems to play a role in the development of varicose and spider veins. This includes age, which can cause wear and tear on the vein wall over time; a family history of varicose and spider veins; and pregnancy, menstruation or other hormonal changes, which might lead to the stretching of vein walls and faulty valves.

Other risk factors for developing varicose and spider veins include a sedentary lifestyle, which can decrease circulation; being overweight or obese, which increases the pressure on blood vessels; wearing tight-fitting clothing such as girdles or pants with tight waistbands, which can decrease blood flow; and standing or sitting for long periods of time, which can lead to veins becoming swollen. Varicose and spider veins can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most common in the leg area.

The primary symptoms of varicose and spider veins are pain in the leg; itching or burning of the skin over the veins; a feeling of heaviness, fatigue or tiredness in the legs; and a bluish color of the skin in the affected area (cyanosis). Overly large varicose veins might require surgery to tie off and remove the severed veins, which is known as vein ligation or stripping.

Some medical experts once believed that issues with blocked veins and damaged venous valves were irreversible, but research has shown that it’s possible to treat these problems to reverse some of the damage caused by them. Blocked veins can be addressed through noninvasive procedures such as sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous laser ablation. Surgical removal of severe varicose and spider veins is also possible, but it’s usually recommended only for those who have other serious health issues such as chronic venous insufficiency.