Varicose veins, those bulging, twisting ropes that often appear on the lower leg, are typically associated with older women. However, varicose veins can affect many more people than your grandmother, and understanding the risks for this disorder can help you identify the condition and seek treatment earlier. Who get varicose veins? The answer to that question may be more complex than it seems on the surface.
People with a Family History
One of the biggest risk factors for varicose veins is a family history of the condition. This means that if you have one parent with varicose veins, your risk for them goes up as well. If you have two parents with varicose veins? You might want to start shopping for support stockings now, to save yourself some time later. Having two parents with varicose veins raises your own risk for the condition even higher.
Men and Women
Yes, women are more likely to get varicose veins. However, around 40 percent of varicose vein sufferers are men. The problem is that because this condition is perceived as a “female problem,” men are less likely to seek treatment for their veins. This can increase their odds for developing uncomfortable symptoms like pain, swelling and skin changes. Unfortunately, if these symptoms remain unchecked, they can continue to worsen until treatment is much more challenging.
Young and Old
The older you are, the more likely you are to have varicose veins. As we age, the veins in the lower legs can become damaged or wear out over time, increasing the risk for developing this condition. However, varicose veins are not restricted to the very old. In fact, they are relatively common during pregnancy and can occur as a result of weight gain or lifestyle factors as well as the normal aging process. Never say you are too young for varicose veins. Instead, have those veins checked out by a vascular specialist as soon as they make an appearance.
Active and Sedentary
A sedentary lifestyle means you are not making the most of those calf muscles that can help push the blood from the lower veins in the legs up to the heart. Lack of exercise can also place a strain on your entire cardiovascular system, increasing your risk for complications like blood clots and varicose veins. At the same time, too much time on your feet can place extra pressure on the lower leg veins, upping your likelihood of developing varicose veins. That’s why some professions, such as waiting tables, teaching and nursing, tend to see a higher incidence of this condition.
Varicose veins can strike men or women at any age. The good news is today’s treatment options for this condition are both minimally-invasive and effective. If you have varicose veins developing, now is the time to have them assessed and learn about your treatment options. Contact The Vein Center of Florida at 800-910-VEIN to schedule your personal consultation today.