Veins help collect oxygen-poor blood from the rest of your body and convey it to your heart and lungs. The tiny air sacs in your lung extract the carbon dioxide in the blood and enrich it with oxygen before it circulates again throughout your body. Veins rely on valves, which have two flap-like structures to prevent the backflow of blood. Sometimes, the valves can malfunction. That can make you require the services of a specialist in El Paso Desert West Vein & Surgery Center. Remember, veins furthest from your heart, especially those in the legs, have to work extra hard since they have to transport blood against the force of gravity.
The malfunctioning of the valves in the veins of your legs can lead to varicose and spider veins. The National Institutes of Health reports that more than 40 million Americans have varicose and spider veins.
The similarities between varicose veins and spider veins
Varicose veins and spider veins all occur in the legs because of the failure of their one-way valves. The weakening valves in your leg’s veins obstruct blood flow. That makes blood flow backward and accumulate in the vein.
The pooling or collection of blood in the veins of your legs makes them swell and twist.
- Similar causes and risk factors
Common causes of varicose and spider veins are being overweight and obese, conditions that exert pressure in your abdomen, use of contraceptive pills, hormonal imbalance, or certain occupations.
For instance, certain normal reproduction processes in women can lead to hormonal imbalances that can trigger venous problems. These include pregnancy, menopause, and puberty.
Also, if your occupation involves standing longer regularly, that can expose the valves in your legs’ veins to more pressure that can impair them.
You are at more risk of varicose or spider veins if you are a nurse, hairstylist, teacher, or retail worker.
- Similar treatments
A physician often recommends certain lifestyle changes if you want the bulging and twisting veins to disappear.
You may need to maintain a healthy weight, keep yourself physically fit, elevate your legs when resting, avoid sitting or standing for long, and wear compression stockings.
For example, when you wear compression stockings, they gently squeeze and massage the strained veins in your leg. That can trigger improved blood flow.
The differences between varicose veins and spider veins
Because varicose veins are bigger, they are more easily noticeable than spider veins. Also, often varicose veins increase your risk of experiencing pain and discomfort in your legs. Spider veins normally do not cause pain.
Furthermore, spider veins look like spider webs or tree branches, while varicose veins appear rope-like.
Women may be more susceptible to spider and varicose veins than men because they get pregnant, use hormonal birth control, and undergo perimenopause and menopause.
Lifestyle changes may not deliver sufficient relief against varicose and spider veins. In that case, your doctor can recommend minimally invasive solutions such as radiofrequency ablation, laser treatment, or sclerotherapy.
Contact Desert West Vein & Surgery Center today to schedule an appointment with a specialist to diagnose and treat varicose and spider veins.