Vein disease is any condition that results in an abnormality of the veins or something going on within the veins that could lead to other health problems. One condition that falls into the latter category and can be very dangerous is what is known as deep vein thrombosis. This is when a clot develops within the veins that are located deep within the tissue, most commonly in the legs.
The danger of deep vein thrombosis is that the blood clot can travel to the heart and lungs and cause serious issues as a result. It could even be fatal. A blood clot that breaks free and travels to the lung is called a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, pain in the chest and coughing up blood. If these conditions are present, it is imperative that you get immediate help by calling 911.
Other types of vein disease are less serious, and they are more common, affecting millions of people. Varicose veins fall into this category. While they may be less serious than deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins can cause health issues of their own. Also, they frequently impact one’s appearance as they bulge out from the skin. They are often discolored and can appear as blue ropes under the skin.
Varicose veins are most common in the legs. They develop when the blood does not completely flow in the right direction. Instead, it tends to flow backward. The increased pressure caused by the backward flow working against the natural directional flow puts added pressure on the vessel walls and causes them to enlarge. This leads to the development of varicose veins.
What allows the blood to flow backward in the leg veins at times are the valves in the veins not working as they should. At various places throughout the length of the vein are check valves, the purpose of which is to allow the blood only to flow in one direction. If the valves are no longer performing as they should, the pull of gravity can make the blood go backward in the veins. This is when the pooling of the blood, the enlargement of the veins and the development of varicose veins occurs.
Varicose veins can cause discomfort like pain and swelling, especially when standing or in a stationary seated position for long periods of time. They can also put a person at a higher risk of developing blood clots.
Another vascular condition that impacts the lives of many is the presence of spider veins. They are similar to varicose veins, except they affect the smaller capillaries that branch off from, the larger vessels. Spider veins, while common in the legs, often appear in the face as well.
Unlike varicose veins, spider veins seldom cause any health risks. Their impact is usually limited to the appearance. They can be visible through the skin and be red, blue or purple. Many people seek treatment to improve their appearance.
If you have one or more types of vein disease, there are treatment options available. You should have a conversation with our experts at Premier Vein Institute regarding which of these treatment options are best for you. Many of them require little or no downtime. We have offices in Tampa, Riverview and Lakeland.