There are many stages of varicose veins and you could experience all of them. Following is a primer on the things to consider (and actions you might take) during each stage.
1.) I notice that sometimes my legs hurt a little
If you spend a lot of time during the day standing – or sitting – you’re bound to feel a few aches and pains. If you notice a dull ache or throbbing in your legs, it could be an early sign of varicose veins.
You can’t cure varicose veins but you can take steps that might slow the progress and make you feel better at the same time. First, take breaks from your sitting or standing. And elevate your feet a few times a day to help the blood in your lower legs flow more easily back to your heart. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can and walk briskly outside in the morning, at lunch or before dinner. Carrying extra weight tends to speed up the onset of varicose veins – one more reason to start a diet. Finally, compression hose help move the blood from your ankles to your heart.
2.) The veins in my legs are starting to look like purple ropes
If you are bothered by the way your legs look – varicose veins and all – there are many non-invasive treatments that can be performed in a doctor’s office, after which you will be able to quickly resume normal activity.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy removes the vein through several incisions in your leg.
- Radiofequency ablation uses high-intensity radiowaves to cause the vein to collapse.
- Endovenous Laser Therapy employs short bursts of a focused light laser to collapse the vein.
- In sclerotherapy, a doctor injects a foam chemical into the vein, after which it collapses and will be absorbed into your leg.
You and your doctor will discuss the various treatments and decide which one is best for you.
3.) My general practitioner told me I might have a blood clot in my leg
Sometimes vein disease leads to serious conditions that must be addressed immediately. In addition to the possibility of blood clots, varicose veins can cause skin infections or open sores in your lower legs. Any time you suspect something is seriously wrong with your health you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Most often, varicose veins do not cause health emergencies. When you think you might be seeing signs of varicose veins, the only way to know for sure is to visit a vein specialist and schedule an ultrasound exam.
Your first visit at the Vein Institute of Connecticut is free. Call to schedule an appointment today.