Are varicose veins dangerous? The short answer: sometimes varicose veins are dangerous.
Not all varicose veins require treatment, but if you have them you should see a vein specialist. Some varicose veins can be managed with lifestyle changes that prevent them from advancing. These “Better Veins for Life Principles” include: wearing medical grade graduated compression socks, taking a break for leg elevation several times per day, maintaining your healthy weight, and a regular exercise routine.
Bleeding Varicose Veins
Bleeding varicose veins can occur after minimal trauma with tearing or bursting of a vein. The injury does not have to be severe but can be as simple as brushing up against the edge or corner of a piece of furniture, or even scrubbing a little too hard in the shower.
If the skin is not broken, the injury causes a bruise. However, if the skin is broken at a varicose vein there can be a great deal of blood loss, causing patients to rush to the emergency room to stop the bleeding. The bleeding can be emotionally traumatizing, dangerous, and the emergency room visit is expensive. Seeking treatment for your varicose veins before the injury and bleeding occurs makes good sense.
When to See A Doctor About Varicose Veins
If you suspect this venous disease, you should speak to a vein specialist for a venous evaluation. Not all varicose veins are visible as the dark or bulging veins you see in before and after photos. Some are visible and less noticeable, while others aren’t seen at all. If you have unexplained leg pain or heaviness in the legs, you should be evaluated. An ultrasound can locate venous insufficiency, allowing our providers to address the problem effectively.
Patients in higher risk categories should also be routinely evaluated, especially if they notice symptoms of venous disease such as heaviness, aching, swelling, tenderness, burning and itching. Patients who are at an increased risk have a family history of venous disease, are of advanced age, and women over 30 who have had three or more children or who are taking oral contraceptives.
It isn’t just women and the elderly, however. If you sit or stand still for long periods of time, your risk for developing venous disease increases. If you’re on extended bed rest for any reason, you’re chances of developing blood clots go up as well.