Are Varicose Veins Actually Dangerous?

Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that usually occur in the legs. However, they are quite common and may affect other body parts as well. More than 20% of adults in the United States are suffering from this condition. 

Most of the time, varicose veins may not affect much besides your appearance. But in some cases, they can lead to dangerous complications. They are more common in women and older people because of hormonal changes and aging. 

Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing this condition. Doctors usually recommend avoiding vein removal treatment during pregnancy. However, you should consult your healthcare provider for better evaluation. 

Factors that increase the risk of developing varicose veins

Here are some of the critical factors that often increase the risk:

  • Family history of dealing with the condition
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Prolonged standing
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

A family history of dealing with this ailment can pose a risk for you as well. Apart from that, you should follow a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity often increases the risk of this issue, and if you smoke, you may have to deal with several other complications. Therefore, you should keep these factors in mind to prevent the risk of additional conditions. 

Why shouldn’t you ignore symptoms? 

They could be a sign of a dangerous issue. If left untreated, the condition can lead to various complications. It may lead to the following dangerous conditions:

  • Leg swelling
  • Skin ulcers
  • Skin infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Deep vein thrombosis 
  • Pulmonary embolism 

The last two conditions can be life-threatening and may even cause severe pain. A pulmonary embolism may even block an artery in the lungs and can damage them. Complications are fairly rare, but can certainly affect an individual’s overall health. 

Therefore, it is necessary to take the condition seriously and look for appropriate treatment. Besides the outer appearance, it can lead to various critical situations that may affect quality of life. For example, a blood clot may be formed in a varicose vein, leading to warm, red, and painful legs. 

What are the symptoms you should watch out for? 

As mentioned above, it is very crucial to get it treated at the right time. When it is not treated at the right time, the condition turns out to be more dangerous. You must get in touch with a medical healthcare professional immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms: 

  • Aching in the area of the vein
  • Itching around the vein area
  • Burning
  • Leg heaviness 
  • Dry and irritated skin
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of veins
  • Severe pain every time you sit or stand for longer than a few minutes
  • Bleeding veins
  • Persistent pain
  • Darker patches of ulcers and sores

When a blood clot breaks loose, there are chances it may travel to the lungs. This can also increase the risk of lung infections and pulmonary embolism. In addition, the condition may lead to a drop in your oxygen level. Shortness of breath is a common resulting symptom, and if you experience it, you should immediately get in touch with your healthcare provider. 

What can I do to treat it? 

Treatment often depends on the severity of the condition. There are different types, and the ideal treatment will depend on the condition. Many people don’t get it treated early, while many seek therapy because of appearance. It will be best if you start treating the condition at an early stage. Starting the treatment therapy earlier will help in preventing these additional risks of cardiovascular diseases. 

You can even use over-the-counter medications for smaller veins and follow a healthy diet to treat them at home. Compression stockings may be able to help improve the function of your legs and treat the condition without surgery. From sclerotherapy and laser treatment to critical vein surgery, your healthcare provider will first evaluate your medical condition. Based on your medical condition, they will suggest the most appropriate treatment. 

Whether you have minute or prominent veins, a healthy lifestyle will help prevent the risk of the condition. Therefore, you should be physically active and focus on managing your weight. Additionally, you should cut back on salt and avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes. 

These tips may help in preventing the risk of additional complications. In the case of varicose veins that are causing severe pain, you must get in touch with a healthcare professional. It helps to treat them as early as possible, as they may get worse over time.