The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 300,000 to 600,000 Americans aged 80 years and above are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT)/Pulmonary Embolism (PE).
About 60,000-100,000 Americans die of DVT/PE every year; unfortunately, 10%-30% die within a month after diagnosis. At least 75% of these patients have a family history of having varicose veins. This just goes to show that vein disease is one of the most overlooked health issues concerning Americans.
This often goes undetected because you likely think varicose veins are just ugly to look at, and nothing more. Vein disease treatment, however, can prove varicose veins could be something more.
So, how exactly do you know when it’s time to visit the doctor? Here are a few self-assessments you can try.
Giving a “Leg Up”
Legs that don’t work like they used to before or ache when you stand up, but feel a lot better when raised above your head could indicate a vein problem.
Veins deliver blood back to the heart. Aching in the legs could mean not enough blood is reaching it. Pay attention to this change of feeling when standing or sitting down even if you’re not diagnosed with having vein disease. It could help you get an idea of how tired your legs are.
Seeing the Colors
Watch your leg color. Red splotches or green or purple-ish spider-like lines could indicate bigger problems. Veins are often hidden under the skin; if it’s becoming more visible and changes color, take that as a hint to get a checkup.
Moreover, open sores or ulcers on the leg are major red flags.
Touching the Feeling
Rashes are often a dermatologic issue, but sometimes, the itchiness can be a symptom of vein disease. The itch could be the result of not enough blood reaching the leg area.
If you find yourself scratching your leg more, combined with aching pains, better have a vein checkup.
Pulling off the mask about the assumption that varicose veins are just cosmetic is always a great first step in treating vein disease. The earlier you deal with them, the better chances you have of recovery.