Varicose veins are clusters of blood vessels, which are often found in the legs or arms and may appear as red or purple tree-like branches beneath the skin. They develop when the one-way valves of blood vessels begin to weaken, resulting in blood flowing in the wrong direction. As the vein walls stretch to accommodate the altered flow, veins become twisted, resulting in their bulging appearance.
The risk of varicose veins increases with age, but luckily, the condition is highly treatable. Here, Newark Vein and Vascular Center, LLC explores the connection between varicose veins and aging.
All body parts are subject to wear and tear over time, and this is just as true of your blood vessels. Due to the simple fact that older adults have more years under their belt, their veins have had more time to accumulate wear. While the body can repair itself, this process also slows down over time, and eventually, natural regeneration cannot keep up with the damage. This imbalance opens the door to varicose veins, spider veins, and similar conditions.
Another major factor contributing to the development of varicose veins in older people is their lifestyle. Varicose veins are most common in individuals who are primarily sedentary, including those with age-related mobility problems. And between other health conditions, achiness, reduced energy, and fatigue, many seniors find exertion difficult. This lack of activity may lead to complications in circulation – including varicose veins.
Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?
Though varicose veins are more likely with age, they aren’t inevitable. Many adults are never diagnosed with varicose veins throughout their lifespan. In fact, with the right measures, it’s possible to prevent varicose veins from forming. The following strategies can preserve a healthy circulatory system through the aging process, helping avoid varicose veins and other health complications:
- Maintain an active lifestyle with plenty of exercise.
- Keep your weight within a healthy range for your height and body structure.
- Eat a diet high in fiber and low in salt content.
- Avoid wearing high heels and tight hosiery for extended periods.
- Elevate your legs on occasion to encourage blood flow.
- When sitting or standing for long periods, change your position regularly.
Identifying Varicose Veins
While some are successful in preventing varicose veins, others may develop them as they age. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of varicose veins, so you can receive effective treatment as soon as possible. These may include the following:
- Aching, burning, or throbbing pain
- A heavy feeling in the affected limb
- Worse pain after periods of sitting or standing
- Leg cramps when suddenly standing
- Itching near the varicose veins
Newark Vein and Vascular Center, LLC specializes in treating a wide range of vein disorders, including varicose and spider veins. To learn more about the relationship between varicose veins and aging or the specialized vein treatments available at our Newark facility, contact us today.