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The Causes of Varicose Veins – and How to Prevent Them

by Jane Meggitt

Varicose veins are so common in older people that you may think there’s no way to avoid them. That’s not the case, but the key to preventing varicose veins starts early. Varicose veins result when veins weaken. Every vein has valves to prevent backward blood low, and leaky valves develop from weak veins. The blood pooling from the leaky valve causes the enlarged, varicose vein.

The Stats

Approximately 40 million Americans have some sort of varicose veins. Many of them are the spider variety, those multicolored and unsightly veins that don’t bulge. By age 60, roughly 70 percent of women and 40 percent of men suffer from varicose veins. Why the far higher number for females? One word: pregnancy. People who spend a lot of time standing are also at risk for developing varicose veins. There’s also a genetic element – varicose veins run in some families.

Varicose Vein Prevention

Although you can’t do anything about your genes, the best way to prevent varicose veins is by staying active. Start a regular walking program and exercise as much as possible. If your job does involve sitting and standing a great deal, move around as much as possible. A “break” at work should include a walk around the building or other ways of stretching your leg muscles.

Compression Stockings

If your legs start to swell or feel heavy, that’s an early indication of varicose veins, long before you can spot the gnarly bulges. Consider wearing compression stockings to ease symptoms and possibly prevent further damage. These stockings – available in fashionable styles and colors – help improve circulation.

Varicose Vein Treatment

Fortunately, if varicose veins appear, there are treatments available to get rid of them. Most of these procedures on done in the doctor’s office, and the patient goes home the same day. Common varicose vein treatments include:

  • Laser therapy – lasers can eliminate the problematic area of the vein.
  • Sealing – a medical adhesive injected into the vein seals it.
  • Ablation – a heated electrode inserted via catheter into the vein eradicates the varicose vein.
  • Sclerotherapy – a chemical is injected into the vein, sealing it shut. For spider vein treatments, patients will see virtually instant results. Varicose veins may require several treatment sessions, generally scheduled a few weeks apart.
  • Surgery – only exceptionally large or dangerous veins are treated with conventional surgery in which the vein is removed. This procedure usually takes place in a hospital.

If you can’t stand the look of your varicose veins, or if they cause pain, visit a vein treatment specialist for an examination and the best options for your condition.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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