Approximately 40% of Women Develop Varicose Veins
If you are suffering from varicose veins, you are certainly not alone. Approximately 40% of women and 25% of men develop this condition.
The veins in your legs are responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back up from your feet to your heart. This upward flow against gravity is assisted by numerous valves in the veins. If these valves become weak or damaged and unable to close properly, blood begins to flow back down between heartbeats. This condition is known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux and occurs most commonly in the greater saphenous vein. The greater saphenous vein (GSV), extends from the ankle to the groin.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Excess blood and pressure within the veins cause the vessels to become abnormally enlarged and swollen. The engorged veins may appear purple or bluish, twisted, ropey, and knotted. Some individuals may have significant back-flow, but show little sign of varicosities. However, they might experience symptoms similar to those with visual signs of disease. These symptoms include aching, swelling, itching, throbbing, fatigue and in more severe cases, ulceration or bleeding. Frequently these symptoms worsen as the day progresses.
If you have venous reflux, you may have inherited the tendency for weak vein valves. Other contributing factors are pregnancy, increasing age, injury, inactivity and carrying extra body weight. Individuals who spend extended time standing or sitting are also at greater risk of varicose veins and their symptoms.
Most insurance companies cover varicose vein treatment if their client experiences symptoms of pain and/or limitations in normal daily activities. A thorough medical evaluation will help determine the cause of your symptoms and a proper treatment plan.