Varicose veins are a common problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 percent of people over 50 years old have varicose veins. Varicose veins are found more in women.
Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are uncommon in children. Adults, particularly women, are more prone to developing varicose veins. You are more likely to develop varicose veins as you age. Individuals ages 30 to 70 are most likely to develop varicose veins. In the United States, 50 percent of people over 50 years of age have varicose veins.
1 AnswerJohns Hopkins Medicine answered
3 AnswersTo diagnose varicose veins, a doctor will take a medical history and ask questions about symptoms, including restless legs syndrome (RLS) -- there seems to be a correlation between RLS and varicose veins. He or she will also ask how often the person needs to rest the legs and determine if varicose veins may be causing pain.
The doctor will do a physical exam and look at the legs. He or she may perform a duplex ultrasound, which allows visualization of vein anatomy and flow. It is essential to make an adequate diagnosis and treatment plan. Occasionally a magnetic resonance venology (MRV) is obtained, if the reflux is predominantly left sided. May-Thurner syndrome (compression of the left iliac vein by the right iliac artery and spine) can be present and contribute to left lower extremity venous reflux.
2 AnswersPiedmont Heart Institute answered
Has the varicose vein become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch?
- If yes, see your doctor.
- If no, are there sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle with the varicose vein, or do you think there may be circulation problems in your feet?
- If yes, see your doctor.
- If no, continue to follow the self-care tips above.
This answer from the National Women's Health Information Center has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.
9 AnswersDr. Michael Roizen, MD , Internal Medicine, answered
Symptoms of varicose veins usually appear before the age of 40 and might include:
- Swollen, twisted clusters of purple or blue veins
- Swollen legs
- Muscle cramps, soreness, or aching in the legs
- Soreness behind the knee
- Itching around the vein
- Leg muscles that tire easily
- Brown discoloration of the skin
4 AnswersDr. Nasser A. Chaudhry, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered on behalf of Lourdes Health SystemVaricose veins can be a cosmetic problem, but they can also, and often, be a sign of more serious venous problems, including chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). We can define CVI with the help of ultrasound testing. In an upright position, we assess the competency of the valves in the veins. There can be leaking of the valves (blood flows towards the heart but when the valves leak the blood flows away from the heart) for up to 0.5 sec (normal). When the valves leak longer the patient is classified as having venous insufficiency. Symptoms of venous insufficiency include skin discoloration, itchiness, cramping, swelling, achiness, restless legs and pain (most venous pain occurs at rest). Conservative measures and simple office-based procedures can help with the effects of venous abnormalities on the body.
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2 AnswersNot necessarily, but it tends to. Varicose veins are a manifestation of venous reflux disease, and one of the risk factors for the disease is old age. People only get older, so it will most likely get worse over time; however, it’s impossible to predict the natural course of the disease.
1 AnswerIf you have a mild case of varicose veins that don't cause bothersome symptoms (aches or itching), you will not need to do anything daily. You might make some lifestyle adjustments such getting exercise, sitting with your feet up, or not standing or sitting for extended periods of time. You can make changes to your diet and lose weight if you are overweight. These will help reduce varicose veins. If your case is more severe, your doctor may suggest additional treatment options.