What seniors should know about Varicose Veins

Aging leads to swelling and enlargement of veins – a condition referred to as varicose veins. For some people, the concern is limited to the unsightly appearance but for others, it may point towards a more serious health issue. According to the American Heart Association, 23% of adults in the United States are estimated to be affected by varicose veins.

The emergence of varicose veins in older adults can lead to medical problems and decrease mobility. In this blog, we’ll highlight a few important considerations associated with varicose veins that seniors should be aware of.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Damaged or weak valves can cause varicose veins. The arteries and vessels inside the body are responsible for carrying blood to and from the heart ensuring proper blood circulation. To return the blood back to the heart, veins in the lower part of the body have to work against gravity.

Elastic vein walls and muscle contractions in the lower part of the legs pump blood back to the heart. Miniscule valves inside the vessels act as barriers preventing blood from flowing backward. If these valves become weak or damaged, blood flows backward and pools inside the veins causing them to twist or stretch.

The following factors increase the chances of contracting varicose veins:

  • Being female
  • Being overweight
  • Being pregnant
  • Having someone in the family that already has varicose veins
  • Standing for long periods in the job
  • Being an older adult

The Symptoms

While the majority of cases do not involve pain, the following symptoms associated with varicose veins may appear:

  • Veins that appear lumpy, twisted, or swollen
  • Veins that are dark blue or purple in color
  • Aching legs
  • Swollen ankles
  • A feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Leg cramps when suddenly rising up
  • Spider veins
  • Restless leg syndrome

Possible Complications

As mentioned earlier, most cases of varicose veins are relatively harmless. However, any condition that compromises blood flow carries the risk of creating health complications. Though rare, varicose veins can lead to:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots that lead to inflammation in the veins in a condition known as thrombophlebitis.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the skin doesn’t exchange waste products, nutrients, and oxygen with the blood because of weak blood flow. While the disease is not directly a consequence of varicose veins, both conditions are closely related.

All in all, the danger of varicose veins increases with age putting older adults at risk of decreased mobility, pain, and illnesses. Exercise, losing weight, and over-the-counter natural treatments prove effective in combating the disease.

Fortunately, AvantGarde Senior Living provides senior housing facilities in Van Nuys, California. A state-of-the-art senior community with qualified staff that helps seniors combat the negative effects of diseases such as varicose veins and live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Contact us today for more information.