Are your varicose veins holding you back?

varicose veins and physical performanceAn avid runner has recently revealed how having her varicose veins treated has helped to boost her physical performance. Initially, 60-year old Wendy Hookway, thought her performance issues were down to her simply being unfit. However, after having her veins treated, she discovered she could easily run further.

Like Wendy, many people are unaware of the physical impact that varicose veins can have on their health. Here, you’ll discover how your varicose veins could currently be holding you back.

The physical symptoms of varicose veins

Contrary to popular belief, varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic issue. They can cause all kinds of physical symptoms which could be holding you back. These include:

  • Aching
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Cramping
  • Pain

While some exercise can help to ease the symptoms of varicose veins, excessive exercise can actually make them worse. All of the symptoms are caused because of the additional pressure placed upon the veins to pump enough blood back up to the heart. Depending on the severity of the physical symptoms, it can prevent you from leading a more active lifestyle.

Emotional symptoms can be just as limiting as physical ones

It’s not just the physical symptoms of varicose veins which can hold you back, it’s the emotional ones too. Most varicose vein sufferers are embarrassed about the condition. So, they try to hide it by keeping themselves covered up. This may be fine in winter, but in nicer weather, it can cause you to become extremely uncomfortable.

The embarrassment can also prevent you from wearing what you want to wear. It can also limit your enjoyment if you go on holiday and don’t feel confident baring your legs.

What can you do?

Whether your varicose veins are currently holding you back, or whether you’re worried they might do, there’s one thing you can do – get them treated!

Many people don’t realise the sheer number of treatment options available for varicose veins these days. Long gone are the days when surgery was the only treatment on offer. Now, you can benefit from numerous non-invasive techniques; especially if you treat the condition early on.

Varicose veins really don’t need to hold you back. Book a consultation today to learn more about the different treatment options available to you.

Did the 2018 summer heatwave play havoc with your varicose veins?

varicose veins and summer heatThe summer of 2018 saw record-breaking temperatures, with experts predicting the warmer weather will continue throughout the autumn. As many rejoice at this unusual UK weather event, others are struggling to stay comfortable.

If you suffer from varicose veins, you may find the higher temperatures are making them even more uncomfortable than usual. Here, you’ll discover how the heat can impact varicose veins and what you can do about it.

How the summer heat impacts varicose veins

When your body gets too hot, it naturally tries to cool itself down. Part of this natural process is to dilate the veins in order to push more blood up towards the skin’s surface. At the same time, you start to sweat, and this combined with the extra blood flow, cools down the blood on the skin’s surface. This, in turn, cools down the entire body.

Varicose veins are typically found just under the skin, where that extra blood is being pumped to. As they already don’t function correctly, the extra blood volume can place them under additional pressure. It is this which causes the symptoms of varicose veins to worsen.

The symptoms it can cause

The most common symptoms you’ll experience in the summer heat, are swelling, aching and cramps. All can be particularly uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with.

As the veins need to work harder anyway to pump blood up to the heart when you have varicose veins, aching is a common symptom. However, the extra blood being sent through the veins to cool the body down, puts even further pressure onto them, worsening the aching feeling you experience.

Similarly, the extra pressure placed on the veins to cool the body down, can cause further problems with circulation. It is this which can lead to swelling, especially within the feet and ankles.

Cramping also occurs due to the pressure the veins are under, although it could also be a sign of dehydration or a lack of salt.

What can you do about it?

Unfortunately, the only way to really stop these unpleasant side effects is by seeking treatment for your varicose veins. While there are things you can do to ease the symptoms, such as wearing compression stockings or keeping yourself cooler, these are only temporary solutions.

Left untreated, varicose veins will never disappear by themselves. So, if you want to ensure you don’t experience the same issues next year, you’ll want to seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact us today to find out just how simple and affordable varicose vein treatment can be.

Early Treatment of Varicose Veins Leads to Better Ulcer Healing

New research has shown that the early treatment of varicose veins leads to better, faster ulcer healing. While many people largely associate varicose veins as a mere cosmetic problem, the truth is they have the potential to lead to more severe health conditions.

The longer varicose veins are left untreated, the worse they become. Ulcers are a particular concern, developing due to poor circulation within the lower leg. These can prove challenging to treat, but as the research confirms, treating them early is the key to better ulcer healing.

Treatment within two weeks increases healing by 12%

The new research conducted by the Imperial College, London, revealed that treating ulcers within two weeks by closing off the veins increases healing by 12%.

There were 450 patients with venous ulcers from the UK, involved in the randomised trial. Half of them received treatment within two weeks while the other half received treatment only after the ulcer had healed or after six months if the ulcer still hadn’t healed. They were all required to wear compression stockings too.

Results showed that patients who were treated within two weeks, saw their ulcers healed within 56 days. The patients whose treatment was delayed had a longer healing time of 82 days.

The number of leg ulcer cases is increasing

Part of the reason this new research was conducted is because leg ulcers are on the rise. Obesity rates continue to increase, and our population is ageing, causing concern leg ulcers will continue to be a major problem for our healthcare sector. This means finding ways to treat the ulcers in a cost-effective manner. Identifying that early treatment speeds up ulcer healing is therefore crucial to the industry.

There’s also the fact that leaving ulcers untreated can lead to painful open sores and the development of serious complications. Amputation could eventually be required, which is ultimately much more traumatising to the patient and costlier to the NHS.

What treatment options are available?

There are numerous ways to treat varicose veins and prevent the development of ulcers. Laser treatment does tend to be one of the more effective options. This successfully closes off the faulty vein, leading to faster ulcer healing.

Other treatments are also available, and the type of treatment used on a patient will depend upon numerous factors. Therefore, those who do suspect they have varicose veins should book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the best course of treatment.

Work in a Sedentary Job? You Might Want to Watch Out for Varicose Veins

can a sedentary job cause varicose veinsIf you work within an office environment, or a job which requires you to sit still for long periods of time, your risk of developing varicose veins is pretty high. When you’re not moving your legs for hours at a time, blood can start to pool within them. This doesn’t just increase your risk of varicose veins, it also increases the risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots.

Here, you’ll discover why sedentary jobs pose a risk of varicose veins and what you can do to reduce your chances of developing the condition.

Why do sedentary jobs pose a risk of varicose veins?

The reason varicose veins develop is largely down to poor circulation within the legs. The calf muscles are responsible for helping to pump the blood back up to the heart. As you walk, the muscles contract, pushing the blood up the legs against gravity.

If you don’t walk around much during the day, the blood isn’t going to be pumped back up effectively. This causes it to start pooling in the veins, placing them under a lot more pressure. Eventually, this can lead to the development of varicose veins, as well as serious blood clots.

What can you do to prevent varicose veins?

If you do work in a sedentary job, there are ways you can attempt to prevent varicose veins from occurring.

If you’re sat at a desk all day, for example, you can carry out desk-based exercises to keep the legs more active. These include pedalling your feet, lifting the legs up and down, stretching the ankles and elevating the feet above the heart. All of these can help boost blood circulation in the legs. You can also wear compression stockings, though these are largely designed for temporary use.

Why early treatment is crucial

If you do develop varicose veins, early treatment is crucial. Not only does this guarantee a less invasive treatment method, but it also comes with many health benefits. Leaving varicose veins untreated can lead to more serious complications, such as deadly blood clots which can travel up to the heart.

The type of treatment you’ll be offered will depend upon how severe the varicose veins are. Book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine which treatment method is right for you.

Could varicose veins affect your career options?

A candidate who applied to join the Army in India has been turned down because they suffer varicose veins. Despite undergoing surgery to eliminate the condition, a court has ruled the patient isn’t fit to join the military due to the symptoms varicose veins produce.

For many, varicose veins are viewed solely as a cosmetic condition and it doesn’t cross their mind it could impact their career choices. So, can having varicose veins really affect your job? Here, we’ll look at how venous disease can impact your career options.

Which careers could varicose veins pose a challenge?

Although varicose veins won’t necessarily affect your chances of getting into the military, as the recent case highlights, there are some careers which can be more challenging for those suffering from this condition.

Any career which requires you to keep the legs in one place for long periods poses a risk of varicose veins. So, office workers, hairdressers, retail workers, pilots and security guards, for example, are considered to be at higher risk of developing varicose veins.

How could varicose veins affect your job?

can your job cause varicose veinsIf you do have varicose veins, there is a possibility they could impact your career if it worsens the symptoms associated with varicose veins.

  • Prolonged periods of standing or walking: for workers who are standing or walking for at least 75% of their time, such as those working in retail or hospitality, or as a hair stylist or security guard, this can pose a serious risk.
  • Limited physical activity or prolonged periods of sitting: we should do everything in moderation, so just as prolonged standing can cause problems, so can sitting for long periods of time as it affects blood circulation. Keeping your legs crossed can make it worse.
  • Heavy lifting: this can increase venous reflux and worsen varicose veins so always use the proper technique whether you’re a personal trainer or factory worker.
  • Low air pressure: not just affecting pilots or cabin crew, this can also be a problem for those who have to fly frequently for their jobs. The pressure in the cabin reduces the amount of oxygen absorbed by the blood, often causing swelling in the legs and feet.

The importance of seeking treatment

Thanks to the huge range of varicose vein treatments available, the condition doesn’t need to affect your career. Whether you’re suffering from mild or severe varicose veins, there’s a treatment to fit you.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins is essential, even if it doesn’t impact your job. When left alone, the condition is only likely to become worse and can lead to more severe health consequences.

If you’d like to seek varicose vein treatment, book a consultation with our vein experts today.

Behind the headlines: is the NHS really going to stop treating varicose veins?

Last month the NHS announced it was drastically limiting a number of routine procedures they deemed ‘futile’ in an attempt to save taxpayers’ money. Varicose vein surgery is one of the 17 procedures that made the list alongside surgery for snoring, grommets for glue ear Carpal Tunnel Syndrome release and haemorrhoid surgery, but what does this mean for varicose vein sufferers?

NHS bosses hope to save £200m a year by reducing these ‘unnecessary’ procedures and Steve Powis, the medical director of NHS England, believes that this is just the start: “I’m confident there is more to be done. “We are also going to ask, ‘Are there other procedures and treatments we should add to the list?’ We have to spend taxpayers’ money wisely.”

There was much coverage in the media on this announcement from the NHS and many varicose vein sufferers may have been concerned that they were going to be left to cope with the embarrassment, discomfort or worse of varicose veins.

However, Vascular Surgeon Mr Ken Woodburn of Cornwall Vein Clinic reviewed the consultation document presented by NHS England and the actual position of the NHS is that, instead of surgery, patients should first undergo alternative, very effective keyhole local anaesthetic endovenous procedures if they are experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins.

Unfortunately for varicose vein patients in Cornwall the suggested local criteria for treatment is more restrictive than in the NHS document and patients with varicose veins symptoms in Cornwall currently do not receive treatment on the NHS unless they have complications from their veins. This is unlikely to change in the near future, making self-pay the only option for many patients with varicose vein symptoms.

It is true that varicose veins that are purely cosmetic without any of the associated symptoms will not receive treatment on the NHS but that has long been the case. For those patients that do not meet the local NHS criteria, the full range of varicose vein treatments is available at the Cornwall Vein Clinic. Call us on 01872 308 520 to discuss your options.

What is the best solution for varicose veins?

If you’ve ever researched how to treat and eliminate varicose veins, you’ll likely have come across a lot of different solutions, from natural remedies you can create at home all the way to surgery – there’s a huge choice of treatment options out there.

So, what are the best solutions for varicose veins? Here, you’ll discover the best ways to ease the symptoms and eliminate those unsightly veins once and for all.

 Compression stockings

Compression stockings aren’t an actual treatment, but they can prove beneficial at easing the symptoms. They’re also often used after varicose vein treatment until the legs heal. If you have varicose veins and you’re planning on jetting off on holiday, you are advised to wear compression stockings throughout the flight to prevent the risk of blood clots developing.

So, if you have varicose veins and you’re looking for temporary relief, compression stockings are a great investment.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation is one of many varicose vein treatments available. The technology has been recently improved, offering a less invasive, higher accuracy laser treatment.

It basically uses laser energy to seal off the vein. The great thing about this treatment is it can be used to treat more complex varicose veins.

Cyanoacrylate Glue

Cyanoacrylate glue is one of the newest varicose vein treatments on offer. It glues the veins shut, using an ultrasound guided technique. Unlike some other treatments, this one doesn’t require numerous local anaesthetic injections or bandages after it’s been performed.

This type of treatment isn’t suitable for everyone, so you will need to double check with a vein specialist to determine whether or not it’s right for you.

VNUS Closure procedure

If your varicose veins are particularly severe, the VNUS Closure procedure could be the best option. It’s a much better alternative to traditional vein stripping and is performed under local anaesthetic.

Radiofrequency energy is delivered into the vein, which heats up the vein walls; the collagen within the walls then shrinks, causing the veins to close. It’s a high-tech procedure producing excellent results.

The above is just some of the best solutions for varicose veins. However, it’s really important you seek a consultation with a vein specialist to determine which treatment is best suited to you.

Is it possible to detect varicose veins early?

Varicose veins are extremely common and while they are largely more of a cosmetic issue, they do pose potential health risks. Therefore, it’s always beneficial to detect and treat the condition as early as possible.

The question is, is it possible to detect the signs of varicose veins early? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the earliest signs and symptoms of venous disease.

Varicose vein symptoms can start much earlier than you think

Most people discover they have venous disease when they discover large, bulging veins. However, the signs of varicose veins actually start long before they become noticeable. The condition tends to develop very slowly, which makes it difficult to establish the early warning signs; especially if you don’t know what to look out for.

Therefore, if you’re looking to identify and treat varicose veins as quickly as possible, you’re going to need to learn more about these early signs.

What varicose vein symptoms develop early on?

There are a few symptoms you can watch out for in the early stages of venous disease. These include:

  • Tired, aching legs
  • Changes in pigmentation
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Hair loss on the lower leg

If your legs are constantly aching and tired, it’s likely a sign varicose veins are developing. However, an easier sign to look out for is a change in pigmentation. If you notice the skin, especially around the ankles, has become discoloured, it’s a possibility it could be venous disease.

Hair loss on the lower leg is a more uncommon symptom, but it is more common in men suffering from the condition. Some sufferers can also develop restless leg syndrome where you have the urge to keep moving the legs, especially during the night in bed.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, it may not necessarily link to varicose veins, but it’s certainly worth having it checked out. Early diagnosis gives you the chance to treat varicose veins before they fully develop. This means the treatment will be much quicker and less invasive.

If you’re worried you may be experiencing early signs of varicose veins, book a consultation with our expert team today.

What’s the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?

spider veins and varicose veinsSpider veins and varicose veins are often mistakenly grouped together as one and the same. However, did you know the two are actually separate vascular conditions? They may produce very similar symptoms, but here you’ll discover the differences between these two conditions.

How do the symptoms differ?

The symptoms of spider veins and varicose are very similar in some ways, yet different in others.

In terms of appearance, spider veins tend to be much smaller than varicose veins. They’re typically purple, blue or red veins which present in clusters, similar to that of a spider web (hence the name). They never bulge out of the skin so if you notice the veins are large and bulging, it’s more likely you have varicose veins.

Most of the time, spider veins don’t present any pain or discomfort. However, it is possible they can cause itchiness, stinging or burning of the skin. There’s also a chance they can lead to other skin conditions. Varicose veins, on the other hand, tend to cause more aching, throbbing and swelling.

What causes spider veins and varicose veins?

The cause of spider and varicose veins can be very different. Spider veins tend to occur due to a backup of blood. However, they can also be triggered by sun exposure, injury and hormone changes. Varicose veins are usually caused by faulty or weak valves within the veins. Sometimes spider veins are also associated with these faulty or weak valves.

Whilst varicose veins can go on to cause major health concerns, spider veins are usually only a cosmetic problem.

Understanding your treatment options

Whether you’re suffering from varicose veins or spider veins, there are treatment options available. Sclerotherapy is a popular treatment option for both conditions, proving especially effective at combatting spider veins. It’s a simple injection style technique which is minimally invasive and extremely effective.

It’s crucial to undergo a consultation and ultrasound assessment before an appropriate treatment can be identified. Establishing the severity and type of vein issue you’re experiencing will help to determine which treatment would be better suited. Contact us today to book a consultation with one of our vein specialists.

Can men develop varicose veins?

women and varicose veinsWhen you do your research into varicose veins, you’ll commonly find most of the information presented is aimed towards women. So, does this mean varicose veins solely affect women or can they affect men too?

While varicose veins are certainly more common in women, they can affect men too. Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about male varicose veins.

Why is most varicose vein information geared towards women?

There’s a couple of reasons why the majority of varicose vein information tends to focus solely on women. Firstly, women are more likely to develop the condition. Not only do they generally have an increased risk of venous disease, but they also have additional risk factors such as pregnancy.

Another reason why the condition is largely female-associated is because men are less likely to seek treatment. This is because they’re not typically as likely to be bothered about the appearance of varicose veins as women are. They mistakenly, like many women, believe that varicose veins are purely cosmetic, so they don’t talk about or seek help for the condition.

However, like women, varicose veins can cause additional problems for men. So, if you are suffering from the condition, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

What issues can varicose veins cause for men?

Men suffer much in the same way as women with varicose vein symptoms. However, they may not experience the same level of discomfort as they don’t tend to have as much fluid retention within the body. Although many factors can impact the symptoms of varicose veins, fluid retention is a common trigger.

You may also start to discover brown patches developing around the varicose veins. This could pinpoint other vein conditions, which can develop if varicose veins aren’t treated.

Why it’s important to get varicose veins treated

Although you may see your varicose veins as a mere cosmetic issue, the truth is they can prove potentially dangerous. Men who are suffering from the condition are therefore advised to seek treatment as soon as possible. This will stop the condition from worsening and also enable you to opt for less invasive treatment options.

Overall, men can develop varicose veins and the symptoms are very much the same as they are in women. If you’re concerned you may have venous disease, book a consultation with us today. Our vein specialists will help to diagnose the condition, as well as create an effective treatment plan.