Varicose veins are a fairly common problem for adults in the middle to later years of life. While these bulging veins can occur in just about anyone, there are certain risk factors that could increase your likelihood of developing them. Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you are at higher risk for varicose veins.
Do I have a family history of varicose veins?
A family history of varicose veins is one of the primary risk factors for developing the condition. If one of your parents has varicose veins, you have more than a 60 percent chance of developing them. If both parents have them, that risk factor could go as high as 90 percent.
Do I have a personal history of blood clots or other vein issues?
If you have suffered damage to the veins of the lower legs, or a previous blood clot, that history may have weakened the vessels and made them more prone to varicosities. The risk may also be higher if your veins were damaged during a previous surgical procedure. Even trauma to the outer leg can lead to some backflow of blood in the lower veins, which can result in varicosities.
Do I spend a significant amount of my day on my feet?
Varicose veins occur when the lower leg veins become damaged or wear out from the hard work of pushing blood back up the body to the heart. If you spend a good portion of your day on your feet, those veins can become even more stressed. Occupations that require plenty of standing, such as waiting tables, teaching and nursing, tend to see a higher incidence of varicose veins than the general population.
Am I overweight?
Just like standing can tax the vessels in the lower legs, so can carrying excess weight all day, every day. Extra weight puts additional pressure on the lower limbs, making it more challenging for the vessels to push blood back up against the force of gravity and the heavier midsection.
Do I exercise regularly?
Regular activity like walking or swimming gives the calves a good workout so they can help the lower vessels move blood back up the legs. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which will further lower your risk for varicose veins.
Although these factors may increase your likelihood of varicose veins, even people without any of these characteristics could develop this condition. If those bulging, twisting lines begin to make an appearance, minimally-invasive treatments are available today that will eliminate unsightly veins without putting a major crimp in your daily schedule. To learn more, contact Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-VEIN.