Chronic venous diseases are surprisingly common, especially in women. So how do you know if you have them? When dealing with something that affects so many Americans, it’s important to know how to identify this broad range of conditions. Not only will that help you find treatment, it will also help you differentiate them from more serious issues. While none of this information can replace the opinion of a qualified expert who has had the chance to talk to and examine you, it’s a great place to start.
What is Chronic Venous Disease?
First, it is important to clarify the difference between symptoms for chronic venous diseases and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency can be understood as the precursor to venous disease. With venous insufficiency, there is a problem in the veins that prevents them from pumping blood efficiently and effectively back to the heart. Typically, this is caused by a problem with the valves that pump the blood along, or by a decreased elasticity in the veins, which happens naturally with aging. Both of these circumstances happen more often in the legs.
Chronic venous insufficiency becomes chronic venous disease when it has caused noticeable, significant problems. This broad group of problems are considered venous diseases. It’s worth noting, though, that not all venous diseases start out with insufficiency. Its crucial to understand the symptoms of venous insufficiency as well.
Chronic Venous Diseases and Their Symptoms
By far the most common disease, these refer to enlarged, swollen, visible veins, usually on the surface of the legs. These can sometimes be simply cosmetic problems—other times, their symptoms include swelling, a “heavy” feeling in the legs, numbness, and aches.
When the skin of the leg breaks, air and bacteria can get in. This causes a leg ulcer. Chronic ulcers can be a complication of chronic venous insufficiency—the high pressure in the veins damages the skin from within. Symptoms include open sores, pain and/or pus in the affected area, and leg swelling.
Phlebitis is the medical term for the inflammation of a vein. It’s more likely to be noticed in the arms or legs. Symptoms of phlebitis include swelling or tenderness in the affected area, or swollen blood vessels.
Always Consult an Expert
If you think you might be suffering from any of these conditions, we encourage you to set up an appointment with us. We have over 25 years of experience, and have seen it all. Our staff will see to you with personal care and make sure you are satisfied with your treatments. Call us at 800-400-8346 to set up a consultation!