Vein diseases such as varicose veins can be a mystery to some. To others, it can be a recurring issue that needs no clarification. Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and sometimes painful veins, usually located in the legs. Often visible to the naked eye, those with varicose veins not only wish to treat the underlying cause and presence of such, but also the pain and stigma that is associated with them. There are various myths associated with varicose veins and those patients that have them. Let’s debunk a few of those!
Varicose Vein Myths
Varicose Veins Only Occur in Elderly Patients
Many people believe that people only get varicose veins in old age, as veins and valves weaken as we age. However, many women in their 20s also have varicose veins. Certain people are more likely than others to develop the condition. Age is only one factor in determining who will develop them. Here are just a few categories of patients that are at risk of developing varicose veins:
- Women on hormonal medications
- Patients with a family history of vein disease
- People who are obese or overweight
- People with sedentary lifestyles
- Pregnant women
- Men and women over the age of 40
Varicose Veins Only Occur In Women
While women are twice as likely to develop varicose veins, men certainly suffer with this condition as well. Over 1 million men in the United States have varicose veins. However, women are more susceptible to developing varicose veins because of hormones. Female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, play a vital role in fertility and menstruation, and they may also be partially to blame for why women have more varicose veins than men. As a result of these hormones, the muscles that control blood flow in your veins relax. This may affect blood flow and cause blood to pool. Although this occurs more often in women, men who have varicose veins must also seek treatment and care.
Varicose Veins are Only Cosmetic
While varicose veins have a cosmetic aspect to them, they certainly affect more than the look of a patient’s legs. Varicose veins are a serious vein disorder that should be treated by a professional. Unlike spider veins, which are unsightly leg veins that are purely cosmetic, varicose veins cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, color-changing skin, an increase in blood clots, and other serious conditions.
There is No Cure
SImply put, there are several treatment options for those suffering with varicose veins. There are treatment options as simple as changing your eating and exercising habits, and others as complex as surgery. In fact, small changes such as elevating one’s feet, losing weight, and exercising can improve their symptoms. However, for those patients with more intense cases, there are surgical options available such as sclerotherapy and/or endovenous ablation. Be sure to discuss these and all treatment options with your local doctor and/or cardiologist.
Any Treatment is Painful and Expensive
Thanks to technological advances in cardiovascular medicine, treatments for varicose veins are more painless than ever before! Also, patients who had surgery to treat their varicose veins have reported a recovery that pales in comparison to the pain of the ailment prior to treatment. With regard to the price of treatment, more insurance companies are covering treatment. Contact your plan administrator for more information.
Varicose veins can seem like an unsightly problem, but for those who deal with this vein disorder, it can affect much more than their looks. Understanding the symptoms, treatments, and general truth regarding this disease can help spread awareness and knowledge about possible treatment plans that are available.