symptoms of varicose veins

Your New Year Resolution: better vein health

Statistics vary, but some estimate that up to 80% of us make and fail to follow through on our New Year’s Resolutions, abandoning them before the end of January. However, if you’re legs are aching, feel ‘heavy’ and look less than attractive with bulging, swollen varicose veins, make 2020 the year that you seek better vein health.

A new year is an opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle and this can fit well with a commitment to sorting out your varicose veins. There are a number of lifestyle changes you can adopt that can help reduce the symptoms of varicose veins.

5 steps to better vein health:

  1. Eat a healthy diet: certain nutrients can help keep your veins strong and elastic and so fill your plate with colourful fruit and vegetables. They are packed with bioflavonoids that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. They diminish swelling and strengthen collagen which is the connective tissue in the vein walls.
  2. Swap alcohol for water: although drinking alcohol doesn’t cause varicose veins to develop, it can make an existing vascular condition worse because excessive drinking increases your heart rate, causing blood to pump through your veins even faster. This places stress on the compromised veins in your legs. Drink water instead as it helps to improve vein health by both improving overall blood circulation and strengthening the muscles that support your veins.
  3. Cut out salt: foods that are high in sodium cause the body to retain fluid which can increase trauma to your already damaged veins.
  4. Get active: embracing exercise is a common New Year’s Resolution and no wonder: the health benefits are myriad. In terms of better vein health, regular exercise encourages better circulation that helps to push through any blood that has collected in the veins. It also helps to lower your blood pressure which can be another contributing factor in the development of varicose veins.
  5. Quit smoking: it’s no secret that smoking is hugely damaging to your health, but it also makes you far more susceptible to developing varicose veins. Nicotine, as well as the other 7,000 plus chemicals in cigarettes, causes constriction of your veins, restricting blood flow.

Although these lifestyle changes can often help to prevent varicose veins from worsening, they do not usually address the underlying condition. If you are bothered about the cosmetic appearance of your legs or struggling with the associated symptoms, varicose vein removal no longer involves surgery and significant downtime. There are a number of procedures that are highly effective and minimally invasive. Please call 01872 308 520 to arrange a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

varicose vein treatments assessed

Laser Treatment vs Foam Sclerotherapy

New research has looked into the effectiveness of three varicose vein treatments. The multicentre study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, assessed endovenous laser abrasion, foam sclerotherapy and surgery. It was discovered that both laser treatment and surgery were the most effective in terms of improvements within quality of life.

Here, we’ll look at the results of the study and the different procedures available.

What did the study reveal?

The study assessed 798 varicose vein patients from 11 different clinics across the UK. The randomised trial looked at the quality of life outcome after five years, alongside cost-effectiveness and disease-specific outcomes.

A total of 595 patients completed a quality of life survey. It was revealed that patients who underwent laser treatment and surgery reported a better quality of life score. However, generic quality of life was marked as being improved for all three treatment options.

All three treatments were also discovered to have very similar recurrence rates. So, in terms of effectiveness, they were all close to one another. Just 11% of patients who underwent laser abrasion needed additional treatment. Just 7% of those who underwent surgery required additional treatment, while 14% of foam sclerotherapy patients required further treatment.

Understanding your varicose vein treatment options

This new study shows just how effective the main varicose treatment options can be. While laser treatment and surgery were shown to have the highest quality of life improvements, foam sclerotherapy is also extremely effective.

The treatment you require to eliminate your varicose veins will depend upon numerous factors. How severe the condition is will be a major deciding factor to the type of treatment you should undergo. This will be discussed with you during your consultation.

Varicose veins can cause a lot of embarrassment and issues with confidence. Many patients are unaware of how simple and effective the treatments can be. To discover which treatment option is right for you, book a consultation with a vein specialist today.

men and varicose veins

Chris Evans Films Varicose Vein Removal

Popular radio host Chris Evans has recently filmed himself getting varicose vein removal treatment. Confessing he’s usually squeamish, the star admitted during the procedure he felt calm despite just being given local anaesthetic.

Commonly, thought of as ‘female-only’ issue, varicose veins can affect men as well and, by openly talking on his radio show and This Morning about the problem, Chris brought some much-needed media attention on how common varicose veins can be. It also highlighted how easily varicose veins can be removed today and the variety of options available.

What did the presenter have done?

Evans underwent ablation where the wall of the vein is damaged, causing it to collapse in on itself. The body then safely absorbs the vein.

After filming the operation being carried out, Evans was seen jogging to the pub. This highlighted how minimally invasive varicose vein removal can be. Many patients return to work or their daily activities right after the procedure.

Understanding varicose vein removal

Varicose vein removal has come a long way since its introduction. The veins were once only treatable via surgery. However, today patients have an extensive range of options open to them.

Laser treatment is one of the most popular options available. Targeting the affected veins, this minimally invasive treatment is virtually painless. There are other alternative non-invasive techniques available too. The treatment approach will be based on the severity of the condition.

The importance of a varicose vein consultation

Before seeking any form of varicose vein treatment, it’s important to book a consultation. You will need to be assessed to determine the severity of the varicose veins. From there, you’ll be presented with the best course of treatment.

It is also important to seek varicose vein treatment as soon as possible. The earlier you get treatment, the less invasive the procedure will be.

It’s great that Chris Evans shared his varicose vein removal experience with his fans. Many patients are put off seeking treatment because they imagine it to be much worse than it actually is. Despite having a lesser common treatment, the star proves varicose vein removal doesn’t have to be a big deal. Call 01872 308 520 to arrange your consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

risk factors for varicose veins

Could Your Office Job Cause Varicose Veins and Other Worrying Health Issues?

A new study has shown what office workers could look like in 20 years’ time and the results aren’t pretty. The study saw a life-size doll named Emma, created to show what workers would look like in current working conditions.

According to experts, future office workers could end up with a variety of health issues including a protruding tummy, a hunched back and varicose veins.

Report highlights health issues of a poor office set-up

The new report entitled ‘The Work Colleague of the Future’, highlights the issues a poor office set-up will have on employee health. It revealed that a staggering 90% of office workers in the UK are currently suffering from health issues caused by the working environment.

Some of the health conditions found to be plaguing office workers right now include sore eyes, headaches and back pain. These problems were also found to be having an impact on how well the workers can carry out their job.

The findings resulted in Emma, the life-size doll, being created to show how workers would look if changes aren’t made to the working environment. This showed a disturbing change in appearance and a variety of serious health issues like varicose veins.

How to avoid varicose veins and other conditions

While the main changes which need to be made to offices are down to business owners, there are some things workers can do to prevent these worrying health issues.

To avoid the development of varicose veins, for example, office workers should ensure they take regular breaks to walk around and boost the circulation within the legs. Compression socks can also be worn by those who have a sedentary job.

If you already experience tired, aching legs, it’s worth undergoing a consultation to discover whether it’s a symptom of varicose veins. The earlier they are treated, the less invasive the treatment will be. It can also prevent the varicose veins from worsening over time. Call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation today at the Cornwall Vein Clinic and find out which varicose vein treatments are available.

varicose veins and depression

The Link Between Varicose Veins and Depression

Varicose veins are known to lead to numerous physical health issues. However, did you know they can also cause emotional turmoil too?

Several studies have revealed a link between varicose veins and depression. So, how do the two conditions interlink? Below, you’ll discover why many patients also develop depression and other mental health symptoms.

Do varicose veins cause depression?

According to results from several studies, varicose veins can lead to depression in patients. Quality of life surveys have shown that those who suffer from varicose veins without the presence of ulcers have a quality of life score similar to patients who have suffered a hip fracture, stroke or heart attack. When there’s also the presence of ulcers, the scores drop to mirror those who have congestive heart failure.

This shows that varicose veins are far from just a cosmetic issue. The impact they can have on a patient’s life can be dramatic. Many sufferers also avoid social situations, particularly in the summer, due to their unsightly veins.

The level of depression also depends upon the severity of the varicose veins. While some produce no symptoms, others can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Those who experience more negative side effects are therefore more susceptible to develop depression than those with no negative side effects.

Treatment shown to reduce the symptoms

The good news is, studies have also shown that patients who seek treatment for their varicose veins see an improvement in their quality of life. In many cases, the depressive symptoms ease completely once treatment has been sought.

There are lots of different varicose vein treatments available today. Many of these are also non- or minimally invasive. The earlier treatment is sought, the less invasive the treatment will need to be. Call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation today at the Cornwall Vein Clinic and discover which treatment is right for you.

hand veins treatment

Everything you need to know about hand veins

When you think about varicose veins, it’s common to associate them as an issue affecting the legs, particularly the upper legs. However, did you know you can also develop varicose veins in other parts of the body?

The hands can often develop varicose veins, especially as you get older. Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about hand veins and how to treat them.

What are hand veins?

Obviously, everyone has veins in their hands. However, at times they can become a lot more prominent. If the veins are bulging, it could be down to a large number of causes.

The veins could be purely a cosmetic issue, or they could cause symptoms such as aching and throbbing. Regardless of whether they’re causing physical issues, if you want to eliminate them there are options available. However, this will depend upon the cause.

What causes hand veins?

Bulging veins in the hands can be caused by a number of factors. As well as varicose veins, they could also potentially be caused by the following:

  • Ageing changes
  • Exercise
  • Hot temperatures
  • Being underweight

As you age, the skin starts to become much thinner and it loses its elasticity. This would naturally cause the veins to look more prominent. However, age can also lead to a weakening of the valves, which can cause the blood to pool inside the veins for a longer period of time. This can also make them look more prominent.

Exercise can also cause the veins to appear larger, as can warmer temperatures and being underweight. In these cases, the veins wouldn’t need treating as they’re only temporarily larger and will return to normal. However, if the veins on the back of the hands remain prominent and appear bulging all the time, as well as causing other problems, then varicose veins on the hands could benefit from treatment.

Are hand veins easy to treat?

The good news is, varicose veins on the hands are easy to treat these days. At the Cornwall Vein Clinic, we have a number of effective treatments which can be safely used on the hands. Our minimally invasive varicose vein procedures cause the walls of the veins to collapse and then the veins are absorbed by the body.

If you’re looking to treat your hand veins, book a consultation today. There, an effective treatment plan can be recommended based on the severity of the condition.

varicose veins consultation

Which treatment option works best for varicose veins?

These days, there’s a huge range of varicose vein treatments available. We’ve come a long way from the days where vein stripping was the only option. With many minimally-invasive treatments now on offer, patients are spoilt for choice over how to eliminate their varicose vein issues.

The question is, are some treatments better than others? Here, we’ll look at which treatment option works best for varicose veins.

Study suggests laser ablation could be best

Recently, researchers from the University of Glasgow have revealed that laser ablation tends to be the most effective treatment for varicose veins. Surgery also came close, but it’s the minimally invasive procedures which really shone through.

It’s important to note here that the procedures deemed the best in the study were based on patient satisfaction reported five years after treatment.

The importance of undergoing a varicose veins consultation

Although laser ablation was found to be one of the best treatment options available, it may not be suitable for all patients.

Varicose veins can vary significantly in severity. This means that different treatments work better on different patients. This makes it crucial for patients to undergo a consultation before choosing a treatment option.

A vein specialist will be able to assess the condition and establish the most effective course of treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be the only option to permanently rectify the condition.

Are varicose vein treatments permanent?

The majority of varicose vein treatments will permanently destroy or close off the affected vein. However, what many patients don’t realise is that the condition can re-occur in a different vein.

So, while your existing varicose veins may be treated, it’s not guaranteed you won’t develop the condition again in a different vein. If you’re looking to eliminate your varicose veins, book a varicose veins consultation with the Cornwall Vein Clinic today.

pregnancy and varicose veins

Varicose veins and pregnancy

Along with swollen ankles, haemorrhoids and hair loss, varicose veins are one of the many less than pleasant side effects of pregnancy. Although usually harmless, they are very common in pregnant women, and like any medical condition, it’s important to keep an eye on them so they do not result in more serious complications.

Inside your veins are tiny valves that open one way, letting the blood through and then closing to prevent the blood flowing backwards. Varicose veins develop when the walls of the veins become stretched and less elastic and the valves weaken. If blood collects in the veins, they can become swollen and enlarged.

During pregnancy, the growing uterus puts extra pressure on your veins, causing varicose veins to develop. The hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy, such as an increased level of the hormone progesterone that dilates the veins, can also contribute to a worsening of existing varicose veins or the development of new ones.

Each pregnancy puts you at greater risk and older mothers are more prone to developing them. Genetics also play a role and if your own mother or grandmothers suffer from varicose veins then you are likely to develop them at some point and pregnancy is often the catalyst. In fact, it’s thought that about 28% of women who didn’t have varicose veins before pregnancy will experience them at some point before birth.

In most cases, varicose veins will not cause any significant problems but towards the end of your pregnancy, it’s common to suffer from insomnia and aching or itching legs due to varicose veins can contribute to this. So, is there anything you can do to prevent pregnancy-related varicose veins and what are your treatment options?

Preventing varicose veins during pregnancy

It’s not usually possible to prevent varicose veins forming, particularly if you are genetically susceptible. However, you can help with the symptoms by trying to limit the time you spend standing and wear compression garments if you find yourself on your feet for longer periods of time due to your job.

Lying on your left side, keeping the legs elevated as much as possible and not crossing them can also help. Regular, light exercise has many pregnancy-related benefits including helping to relieve pressure on the legs and improve blood flow.

There are a number of minimally-invasive treatment options available. You’ll usually be advised to wait till after pregnancy as the appearance of the veins and any associated symptoms can improve greatly after childbirth. However, if your baby is starting to reach important milestones and you’re still suffering, then call 01872 226100 to arrange a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

stages of varicose veins

Understanding the different stages of varicose veins

Varicose veins have long been considered a simple, harmless cosmetic issue. However, in recent years, experts have been pushing to educate patients on the severity of the condition.

There are numerous stages of varicose veins, and the longer the condition is left untreated, the worse it will become. Understanding these different stages can give you a good indication of when varicose veins need to be treated. While early treatment is always recommended, below you’ll discover which stage of the disease you’ll absolutely want to seek help to prevent serious complications.

How do varicose veins progress?

Varicose veins progress through different stages. Initially, they start out as spider veins. They can then develop into Reticular varicose veins, before progressing to venous nodes. Stage 4 is when they turn into Chronic Venous Insufficiency, before finally developing into Trophic ulcers or varicose eczema.

It’s worth noting that not everyone will experience the progression from stage 1-5. However, it is a possibility.

At what stage should you seek treatment?

Ideally, you’ll want to seek treatment as early as possible. So, if you notice spider veins or Reticular varicose veins, that’s the ideal time to seek treatment. This is because the earlier you seek treatment, the easier it is to eliminate the veins. It’s also much better for your health if you can prevent the problem from becoming serious.

You’ll especially want to seek treatment if you’ve experienced any changes within the veins. Are they more painful or prominent? If so, it’s a clear sign they’re starting to progress into the later stages of the condition.

What varicose veins treatment options are available?

There are lots of treatment options available for varicose veins today. These include Endovenous laser treatment, micro sclerotherapy and treatment for venous ulcers. The type of treatment required will depend upon the severity of the condition, along with numerous other factors.

If you are worried about your varicose veins, book a consultation with one of our vein specialists today. After an initial diagnosis, a treatment plan will be recommended. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the less invasive it will be.

varicose vein remedies

Amazon promoting unproven varicose veins remedies

Online eCommerce giant Amazon has recently come under fire for promoting unproven remedies to treat conditions such as varicose veins. The shocking remedies, containing bizarre ingredients such as saliva from rabid dogs, highlight just how unregulated the products sold by the internet giant are.

Experts are branding the site irresponsible for not checking what these remedies actually are. So, what’s the harm in these remedies and could they actually work?

Could unusual remedies help tackle varicose veins?

One of the main bizarre remedies listed on Amazon to treat varicose veins is Lac Caninum. A homoeopathic treatment derived from dog’s milk, it is also listed as being able to treat a wide range of serious medical conditions. The question is, do these bizarre treatments actually work?

While some homoeopathic remedies can help to reduce the symptoms of varicose veins, these extreme remedies aren’t one of them. If anything, treatments which contain bizarre ingredients could prove more harmful to your health.

Varicose veins are basically weakened or damaged veins, and no homoeopathic remedy can fix that. However, some may be able to reduce itching, swelling and pain which can be caused by the condition.

The importance of seeking proper treatment

Those who do have varicose veins are urged to seek professional treatment. Although they are viewed as a cosmetic issue, when left alone varicose veins have the potential to become a lot worse. In severe cases, they can even prove to be life-threatening.

Therefore, due to how severe the condition can become, it is highly advised against turning to a natural remedy. There are many different minimally invasive treatment options available, such as laser treatment, which can eliminate the condition quickly and effectively. The earlier you seek treatment, the less invasive the treatment will be.

When looking for varicose vein remedies online, it’s important to remember not all of them will be genuine. The bizarre treatments listed on Amazon are just a few of the potentially dangerous remedies circulating the internet. Always seek treatment from a professional varicose vein clinic where you know the treatment you receive is going to be safe and effective.