How to Check for Varicose Veins at Home
Knowing how to check for varicose veins at home can save you from discomfort and dangerous complications later.
Around 20 percent of adults will be affected by varicose veins at some point. Often found in the lower leg, these enlarged, twisted veins can cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms. They may even lead to life-threatening complications, so knowing how to check for varicose veins is essential.
The Basics About Varicose Veins
Veins direct blood to your heart using valves and the pressure created by the muscle contractions that occur when you move. However, veins, their walls, and their valves can be damaged by injuries or wear and tear over the years. When blood is unable to return to the heart and instead pools in a vein due to weakened walls or valves, you may develop varicose veins. These veins can cause pain, itching, and general discomfort and may lead to serious complications.
While varicose veins are often associated with older women, anyone at any age may have varicose veins. However, individuals who are pregnant, obese, older, have had previous leg injuries, or smoke will have a higher risk of developing varicose veins. Spending too much time sitting or standing and having a family history of varicose veins are also risk factors.
How To Check For Varicose Veins At Home
Not only can varicose veins be unsightly, but they can also negatively impact your health. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to bleeding, venous ulcers, and even life-threatening blood clots, so routinely checking for varicose veins should be part of your health care routine.
Checking for varicose veins at home is simple. Start by standing up and leaving your leg in place for a minute or two. You may notice bulging, tense veins in your calf, thigh, knee, foot, or ankle. Now squeeze these veins with a finger. If they disappear or become smaller when you raise your leg above your heart or feel less tense when you lie down, you probably have varicose veins.
In addition to the presence of visible, bluish, bulging veins, you may notice:
Stasis dermatitis (an itchy rash that can result in cracked skin)
Discolored patches of skin
Throbbing sensations or a dull ache in your legs, especially after a prolonged period of standing or sitting
Hyperpigmentation around the ankles
However, you may have many symptoms of varicose veins without any visibly bulging or twisted veins. If this is the case, you may need to visit a medical professional for an ultrasound.
Diagnosing Varicose Veins
Your doctor may use a Doppler (Duplex) ultrasound to identify the cause of your varicose veins. With the help of high-frequency sound waves, your doctor will be able to assess valve function in your groin, detect blood clots, and better understand your veins’ structure and blood flow.
Preventing And Treating Varicose Veins
Exercise boosts blood circulation and helps move the pooled blood responsible for enlarged veins back to the heart. Low-impact activities such as swimming, stretching, walking, cycling, and yoga are best. These exercises improve circulation and blood pressure without the same risk of injury that high-impact activities.
If you don’t have time to exercise in the middle of the day, try to move regularly and elevate your legs. Flexing your feet and tensing your legs’ muscles can also help manage symptoms and prevent new varicose veins from forming.
Wearing compression stockings is a common and easy treatment for varicose veins. These stockings improve circulation, reduce discomfort, prevent the development of new varicose veins, and stop existing varicose veins from worsening.
In addition to these home remedies for varicose veins, consider eating fibrous, potassium-rich, and flavonoid-filled foods to reduce constipation and improve blood circulation. Using herbal remedies like grape seed extract, Centella asiatica, and rutin may help reduce cramping and swelling.
Receiving Treatment in New Mexico
Seeking treatment for varicose veins can not only improve their appearance but may even save your life. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious complication of untreated varicose veins. DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal complication where a clot blocks blood flow to the lungs.
Thousands of patients across the country have treated their varicose veins and other venous disorders with the help of Center for Vein Restoration’s state-of-the-art vascular care. Center for Vein Restoration offers five convenient locations in the New Mexico area. Schedule a consultation with either Dr. Michael Harding, MD, or Dr. Chandran Vedamanikam, MD, today to receive high-quality care for your varicose veins. Both physicians are skilled and experienced in the latest varicose vein treatment techniques.
2220 Grande Blvd SE, Suite B
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124
2801 E. Missouri Ave, Suite 27
Las Cruces, NM 88011
909 N Date St, Suite B
Truth Or Consequences, NM 87901
500 E Walnut St
Deming, NM 88030
801 Encino Pl. NE #C-12
Albuquerque, NM 87102