Varicose veins are small sac-like structures in the lower extremities. They are often found in the legs and occur when the vein walls become weak due to increased pressure and reduced blood flow. Varicose veins New York occur when the valves in the veins become fragile and stretchy. That happens because the valves don’t work correctly and lose their elasticity. When this happens, the valve can’t close tight enough to keep the vein from stretching and bulging outward.
Deep varicose veins tend to form in the calves and may show swelling, tenderness, warmth, redness, and itching. Varicose veins can also occur above the knee. When they do, they are known as spider veins.
Several factors can contribute to varicose veins:
High blood pressure
Many people who develop varicose veins have hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure causes the walls of your blood vessels to become weaker, so they can’t support as much weight. The increased pressure also makes your veins swell up with fluid. That may cause scarring on the inside walls of your veins called telangiectasia, which can lead to varicose veins later. If you have had high blood pressure for many years, you may develop varicose veins later in life, even if you are not obese or overweight. That suggests that it is not just being overweight that makes you more likely to develop varicose veins; instead, it seems that early changes in your body shape can predispose you toward developing them later on down the road.
Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and prolactin can increase the risk of developing varicose veins because they cause the veins to expand. As these hormones increase during pregnancy, women must reduce their intake of these hormones as soon as possible after delivery.
Obesity is another factor that increases the risk of developing varicose veins. Obesity causes a decrease in the amount of fat stored in one’s legs which results in increased pressure on the veins. That increases the risk of developing varicose veins by as much as twofold.
Varicose veins most commonly affect older people, especially those over 50. It is estimated that about 80 percent of people with varicosity will have it by age 40, and by age 70, most people will have developed varicose veins at some point in their lives.
A family history of venous insufficiency is one factor that increases the likelihood of developing varicose veins later in life. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes mellitus, and smoking tobacco or marijuana.
A woman who has had multiple pregnancies may have weakened veins and be more susceptible to developing varicose veins. That can be due to the high blood pressure during pregnancy and the weight gain associated with it. If you have had multiple pregnancies, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms such as pain or swelling in your legs due to varicose veins.
Varicose veins can develop gradually over many years and may not be noticeable until they become very prominent. If you have varicose veins, you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. Call Upper East Side Cardiology or book an appointment online to learn everything you want to know about varicose veins.