Nearly everyone can live with two or three small veins that are a little more noticeable on their legs or around their ankles. And if they don’t get bigger, change color or cause pain, you might not need to do anything other than keep an eye on them.
Sometimes varicose veins don’t cause real problems.
But keeping an eye on them is the key, because if symptoms do worsen, varicose veins can cause bigger problems for your overall health.
The most troubling initial signs of varicose veins – rope-like bulges in your legs, purple or red discoloration and throbbing pain – indicate that the valves inside the veins have broken down. The one-way valves help prevent pooling of blood as your heart pumps. When the pooling settles in your veins, the vein walls start to break down, causing the visible symptoms.
Serious health problems can occur after that.
Worsening Symptoms of Varicose Veins
- As the vein walls grow thinner, they sometimes break, causing spontaneous bleeding that is difficult to stop.
- Occasionally, blood clots form. They are especially dangerous in the deeper veins, because if the clots break off from the vein wall, they can travel to the heart or lungs.
- Diseased veins can become inflamed, causing great pain and serious health concerns.
- The fatty layer beneath the skin sometimes disappears, causing the skin around your lower leg to harden. It looks bad and feels uncomfortable.
All these issues can develop several years after you notice the first varicose veins in your legs, so it pays to check out your legs regularly and visit a vein specialist if you notice worsening problems.
Dr. Alex Afshar can help you decide whether you need to treat your varicose veins and what approach would work best. Call the Vein Institute of Connecticut at 203-426-5554 for a free vein consultation.