Take a moment to look at your legs. Are there signs of extremely visible, gnarled, blueish or purplish veins that seem to be popping out? If so, you might have varicose veins. While varicose veins may not be considered a serious medical condition, especially if it does not affect your day-to-day life, there is the possibility that it could lead to something more serious if left untreated. Moreover, varicose veins are highly noticeable, which may result in patients feeling embarrassed and negatively impacting their self-esteem. Varicose veins tend to appear in the legs near the skin surface. It happens when blood is collected in the veins, causing them to become enlarged. This then begets the question – What exactly causes the phenomenon, what are the symptoms and how can it be treated? We find out more in this article.
While the arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, the vein does quite the opposite, carrying blood from the rest of the body back to the heart. Healthy valves are what prevents blood from flowing backwards. When the valves in the vein are weakened or damaged, blood can flow back and pool in the area, which enlarges the vein and causes varicose veins.
Certain factors can cause this to occur; one of which is ageing. Approximately 41% of women over 50 years old have varicose veins. As ageing wears and tears our body, the valves in our veins are no exception. This deterioration can cause blood to flow backwards and accumulate. Obesity may increase the risk of varicose veins in Singapore as well. The added weight builds pressure on the veins, thus, squeezing the vein walls and potentially damaging the valves. Last but not least, remaining sedentary including sitting or standing for long periods may also increase the likelihood of varicose veins. Prolonged standing can lead to extra pressure on the veins, overworking them, while long hours of sitting makes it more difficult for the vein to carry blood back to the heart.
The most apparent symptom for varicose veins lies in its appearance. Twisted, blue-purple veins are highly visible around the legs, ankles and feet and at times, spider veins (little red and blue lines) may form in the affected area. Swelling is also a common symptom and if left untreated, may result in brown discolourations on the skin. Apart from the appearance, symptoms that could hinder performing everyday tasks include heavy legs, pain and itching. The leg muscles may feel heavy, particularly after intense physical activity and you might feel pain and itchiness behind your knee or where the varicose veins have developed. Should you experience any of these symptoms, it is highly recommended to visit a vein doctor and get varicose veins treatment in Singapore.
The treatment options for varicose veins depends on your condition and what your doctor advises. Varicose veins treatment ranges from non-invasive techniques such as elastic stockings to therapies and even surgery for more severe cases. In less serious cases, your doctor may introduce supportive stockings. These stockings are designed to compress your veins and prevent them from further stretching. In this way, blood flow is enhanced and discomfort is alleviated.
When it comes to therapy treatment, your doctor may recommend non thermal or thermal treatment modalities. In non thermal, a solution that enables the walls of the veins to stick together is injected into your vein. Over time, the varicose veins fade away. On the other hand, thermal therapy involves a catheter being inserted into the vein and heat energy is used to close off the veins. Such varicose veins treatment minimises symptoms and has a shorter recovery period as compared to conventional surgery.
While mild cases of varicose veins may not affect your daily life, it is still highly advisable to have varicose veins treatment to avoid worsening the condition. Ultimately, not only does treatment help to relieve symptoms, healthy legs can be a huge confidence boost as well.
At Cheng SC Vein and Vein and Endovascular Clinic in Singapore, we provide a range of varicose veins treatment options tailored to your needs. Contact us today for more information.