Venous disease, also known as venous reflux or venous insufficiency, affects about 40 million people in the U.S. It occurs when valves in the veins do not work properly, causing blood to flow away from the heart and instead travel downward into the veins. When blood pools in the veins, there is an increase in venous blood pressure. This causes skin discoloration, swelling, and heaviness of the legs and feet.
What causes venous diseases
Though it is still unclear what causes venous diseases, there are some factors that contribute to the risk of having varicose veins. These include genes, gender, pregnancy, and age. Obesity and professions that require standing or sitting for a long period are also risk factors for the chronic venous insufficiency.
Treatment of venous diseases
Some of the signs and symptoms of the venous disease include spider veins, varicose veins, swelling, pain in the calves, skin changes, and ulcers. A phlebologist can check and examine your legs to see if you have venous disease.
Superficial venous refluxes can be treated through sclerotherapy or surgical removal. Damaged venous valves, however, can no longer be fixed.
Experts say wearing medical compression stockings remains to be the most basic prevention key for venous diseases. It helps lessen the tension on the legs, especially when standing for a long time. Also, regular exercise and elevating your legs and feet can also help prevent developing varicose veins.
If you already see symptoms of the venous disease, consult a phlebologist as soon as possible. Remember that prevention is always better than cure, so always take care of your legs.