What are veins?
Veins are the type of blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood from the body back to the lungs and heart. Blood that is lower in oxygen is darker, rather than the bright red of oxygenated blood, though it is still red. Veins can appear to be blue as a result of a combination of how light travels through skin and the dark red hue of the deoxygenated blood. This is why spider veins and varicose veins appear to be a blue hue, making them much more noticeable.
At this very moment, between 7% & 8% of your body weight is probably blood for the average sized person. If you do a little bit of quick math, that’s quite a bit of yourself! And if you were to stretch out all of the blood vessels (both veins and arteries) of an average adult, they would be almost 100,000 miles long.
With the extensive nature of the vascular (or circulatory) system, it should make sense to pay careful attention to its health.
What is vein disease?
Vein disease refers to any abnormal condition of the veins. Vein disease affects one in three Americans over the age of 45. Veins have thinner walls than arteries and are prone to damage. Damaged vein walls impede circulation and cause blood to pool and flow retrograde (or backward) when muscles relax. This creates pressure, which then causes more damage. This further damage can include twisting, swelling, blood clots, improperly functioning valves, and additionally poor circulation overall.
What are the symptoms of vein disease?
Early signs of vein disease may simply include an itching sensation or mild discomfort that may easily be misidentified as simply dry skin. Then the legs may feel heavy, tired, achy, warm, or develop redness. As vein disease develops further, symptoms include enlarged veins, edema of the legs, skin discoloration, or even ulcers.
How can vein disease impact your life?
Initially, vein disease may be unnoticeable without a professional medical diagnosis. As it progresses, it may cause embarrassment or emotional discomfort because of how it looks. Vein disease may also impede activity and range of motion or even the ability to perform normal daily tasks. At its worst, vein disease may develop into life-threatening blood clots that can form a pulmonary embolism.
The best way to diagnose and treat symptoms of vein disease is to get professional medical attention. If you are near or able to travel to the Chattanooga area, we would be honored to give you a free consultation and recommend a treatment based on your personal health history and needs. Schedule yours today!