If a person has varicose veins, any of the following warrant a visit to a health care provider:
Varicose veins alone are relatively harmless, but every now and then they can cause minor problems.
Having varicose veins does not necessarily mean you will eventually have a blood clot or that a blood clot somehow caused them.
Treatments are available for varicose veins. Many of them are simple things you can start right now.
Follow-up after a diagnosis of varicose veins is generally necessary only if a person is considering surgery or sclerotherapy. Otherwise, follow up with a health care provider only if severe or worsening symptoms occur.
You cannot change your genes, but you can keep your
weight under control,
exercise, eat a healthy diet high in fiber, and try to stick to loose comfortable clothing when possible. If you are genetically destined to develop varicose veins, they may appear despite all your best efforts.
Ted stockings are the best nonsurgical treatment of varicose veins. They prevent skin breakdown and worsening of the varicosities. Most people have decreased swelling in their feet and less tiredness at the end of the day when using Ted stockings.
Varicose veins that you have now will not go away unless you have treatment, such as sclerotherapy or ligation and stripping. At times the veins may seem more prominent, such as in warm weather. However, once they appear, they will not go away on their own.
Prevention is the key. The earlier you start the lifestyle modifications outlined in Self-Care at Home, the better your chances of preventing new varicose veins from forming. In some cases, varicose veins may be one stage in the continuum of chronic poor vein functioning.
Some people may progress from having no symptoms, to the development of varicose veins, and then on to problems with leg swelling, and finally to ulcers caused by stagnant blood flow.
A small number of these people will have deep vein clots as a cause for their signs and symptoms, but most will not.
The more severe problems, such as skin ulcers, tend to be very difficult to prevent completely. Once these ulcers occur, they are very difficult to cure.
Even when they are eliminated, these ulcers tend to recur.
A deep vein blood clot has the potential to travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lung. This is called a
Pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism does not occur from varicose veins.
Pulmonary embolism can be life threatening, because the blood clot can interrupt the circulation of blood.
Common symptoms of Pulmonary embolism are
chest pain and shortness of breath.
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