Considering the number of things society feels to need to know every detail about, it is a bit surprising to know that medical terms and issues fall pretty low on the list of priorities. Though maybe not the most pressing medical issue out there, we’ve all seen them our entire lives, but we still feel little odd asking, “What are varicose veins?” It could be that we feel a little bad asking about something that most people don’t want to talk about, but it could be as simple as this – no one really knows what varicose veins are.
That’s OK. Truth be told, even if we asked some of the people in our lives that have dealt with varicose veins for years, they probably are as unaware as everyone around them. Moreover, they probably feel, as the majority of the rest of us do, that it’s just a part of getting older. Granted, not everyone deals with them, but in the end, you win some & you lose some.
The problem with this mentality, though, is that if you choose to remain in the dark about your varicose veins, then you can’t be a good active partner in helping treat them. However, before rushing to treatment, let’s get a few things straight about varicose veins. They are abnormal superficial veins that develop in the soft tissue beneath the skin. Blood flow is hindered, leading to blood pooling in overly elastic veins. They can form anywhere on the body, but generally the veins in the legs and thighs are affected the most. Even though pain is associated with the condition, not everyone experiences it. Because symptoms can present themselves differently for different patients, it’s important that your doctor makes note of any changes you notice in your legs & thighs.
So, now you have a better idea of what varicose veins are, but you are undoubtedly thinking about how you can get rid of them ASAP. You’re not too bothered about their potential for health risks as it can be rare for anything serious to come from them. It’s also nice to know that it is a common affliction, so again, you seem to be in the clear except for the unsightliness.
Treatment options usually start off simple, with a lot of responsibility put on the patient. Exercise & weight-loss are key, as is avoiding long periods of sitting or standing. You can also do some good by not wearing tight clothing. Compression stockings are the next step, which help in the efficient circulation of blood in lower extremities.
If these first steps don’t remedy the problem, it might be necessary to use more direct treatment options such as:
- Laser/Light Therapy
- Catheter-assisted procedures using radio-frequency, or laser, energy
“What are varicose veins?” It’s a question you no longer have to ask, and you even have some insight into available treatment options. The key to knowing where you stand when it comes to your varicose veins is to talk to your doctor and to remain an active partner in your healthcare.