Varicose veins, also called as varicosity or varicosis, are nothing but enlarged, twisted, painful superficial veins that are visible just beneath the skin. It’s a disease, which is fast spreading today and is a major medical concern that is under intense research by medical practitioners.
It is not necessary that people with varicose veins will always have any physical symptoms like purplish or pigmented skin or web like venous structures protruded on the skin’s surface. Its most common symptoms are –
- Dull ache and pressure sensation from varicose veins
Apart from it, any people may also exhibit its less uncommon symptoms like –
- Bleeding from veins
- Thrombophlebitis or formation of a blood clot in an inflamed vein suffering from phlebitis.
- Skin Ulceration
- Stasis dermatitis, which is a skin irritation caused due to circulatory problems and congestion of the leg veins. Due to congestion, darker pigmentation, light-brown or purplish discoloration may occur and back up the blood in the leg veins.
The common ways of diagnosing are –
- In most cases, doctors would easily identify varicose veins by simply looking at the affected areas. It you keep standing for about 15-20 minutes, it would make the veins more prominent and visible.
- Doctors may examine the swellings on the legs and may ask you to describe the pain experienced and identify situations, which aggravate the varicose veins. For example, any women find that varicose veins intensify before, during or after their menstrual cycle.
- A detailed family history of varicose veins is needed to assess the severity of the disease.
- Individual’s height, weight, health index of body mass index (BMI) and presence of thrombosis are scanned.
- Obesity level is also noted. If pregnant, it is specified as it could lead to the disease.
- Additionally, inspection, palpation (feeling the veins) and evaluation for the presence of any bleeding or ulceration is tested and recorded.
- Any leg injury history is noted.
- Sometimes duplex ultrasound scan test is done to test the blood flow. This is a non-invasive test using high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of the veins in your legs and understand how the blood is flowing within the veins.
- On rare occasions, an angiogram is done in which a special dye is injected into your lungs and X-rays are taken of the area to provide clear perspective of how the blood is flowing.
Once diagnosed, it is easier to move to next step of curing the varicose veins.