Vein Diseases Can Range from Simple to Complex
Vein disorders (venous diseases) are very common and can affect people of any age, but are most common in people over the age of 45. Although symptoms are often minor in the early stages, some vein disorders can progress and become a serious, even life-threatening, health problem. For this reason, it is important to consult with a UH vascular specialist if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of venous disease. University Hospitals provides vein services at numerous community locations including two Centers for Comprehensive Venous Care.
Your health is important. Don’t delay care.To schedule an appointment with a UH vascular specialist, call 216-844-3800 today.
What is Venous Disease?
Venous disease refers to any condition that affects the functioning of our veins, which are an important part of the body’s circulatory system. While arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to every part of the body, veins have the primary function of returning blood back to the heart to be re-oxygenated.
Veins are flexible, hollow tubes with a series of built-in valves which ensure the blood travels in the right direction, back to the heart. If these valves malfunction as a result of venous disease, blood can travel in the wrong direction or flow in both directions. This is called venous insufficiency or venous reflux. This causes blood to inappropriately pool and increase the pressure in the veins. This increase in venous pressure contributes to painful varicose veins, leg swelling and, at times, the development of superficial vein clots known as phlebitis. Phlebitis can be a self-limited local problem but is also associated with deep vein thrombosis which can be life threatening. Additionally, progressive high pressure in the veins of the legs, over time, can lead to significant skin changes and, in advanced stages, can cause leg ulceration(s).
Signs and Symptoms of Vein Disease
Not everyone with early stage venous disease will have symptoms. However, some of the most common signs that your veins may be malfunctioning include:
- Swelling, tightness or itchiness in your legs or ankles
- Leg pain or cramping when walking that stops when you rest
- Dark patches of skin, often near the ankles
- Varicose or spider veins
- Open sores (ulcers) on your legs
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to be evaluated by a vascular specialist. Call 216-844-3800 to schedule an appointment.