Myths and Facts About Varicose Veins You Need To Know

At Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center, our doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating varicose veins.

There’s a lot of inaccurate info being passed around about varicose veins. Most of it can be chalked up to old wives’ tales, but if you have varicose veins, it’s no joke. It’s best to find out all the facts so you know what’s real and what’s false when it comes to treating varicose veins.

And if you’re on Long Island, there’s no better resource than the Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center. Our doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating your varicose veins with care, compassion, and advanced technology. If you have questions about what causes your varicose veins and the health implications involved, our doctors would love to meet you personally, evaluate your condition, and map out a health care plan.

Meanwhile, here are some common misconceptions about varicose veins our doctors would like to dispel. 

Myth 1: All old people get varicose veins

While age increases your chances of developing varicose veins, it’s not inevitable. Plenty of elderly folks live long lives without ever dealing with vein issues. 

First and foremost, varicose veins are hereditary, so if they run in your family, you can likely expect to see them appear as you age. But just as old age does not doom you to vein problems, being young doesn’t give you a pass. Younger folks can develop varicose veins at any age, as it’s heavily dependent on genetics and other risk factors.

Myth 2: Varicose veins are just a vain thing

It’s true that varicose veins constitute a cosmetic problem, but that’s not all there is to it. If you have varicose veins, you may experience pain, swelling, throbbing, cramping, and a noticeable heaviness in your legs. 

Those symptoms may indicate an even more serious problem — deep vein thrombosis (DVT),  when a blood clot forms in one of your main veins. If the clot happens to break free and travel to your lungs, it can get stuck and block the flow of blood and oxygen. This is called a pulmonary embolism, and it can be fatal. That’s why it’s critical to see one of the Suffolk Vascular doctors at the first sign of any vein irregularities. 

Myth 3: My legs look fine, so I must not have varicose veins

Varicose veins aren’t always visible. If you see them, you have them. But if you don’t see them, you can’t assume that you’re off the hook. Varicose veins can occur deep under the surface of the skin. And if you happen to be overweight or obese, chances are good that your varicose veins are hiding under fatty tissue.

Our doctors can evaluate your vein health with a circulatory test that determines if you have damaged or compromised veins — even if you can’t see them.

Myth 4: Standing and running causes varicose veins

Again, propensity for varicose veins is primarily genetic. But if you have varicose veins and you stand at your job for hours on end, you may put yourself at an increased risk and may notice more severe symptoms. Still, prolonged standing is typically not considered the cause, just an exacerbator

Likewise, running doesn’t cause your varicose veins, but it can make it worse. Many sufferers find that wearing compression socks or stockings can help keep the swelling and pain to a minimum.

Myth 5: Men are immune to varicose veins

Although about 50% of women develop some type of varicose veins, they are not the only ones susceptible. There may be fewer reported cases of varicose veins in men (only 10%-15% of the male population), but certainly enough to classify it as a gender-neutral condition. 

Men may not see their varicose veins as readily as women because hair tends to mask the condition. But because most women shave their legs, varicose veins may be more noticeable in women. If you’re experiencing any of the common symptoms of varicose veins, seek medical attention.

Now that you know how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to your varicose veins, you are better prepared to take charge of your health moving forward. If your varicose veins are putting you at risk for greater health issues, we can offer the least-invasive, most-effective treatments available.

The next step is to call us for an appointment at any of our three convenient Long Island locations or request an appointment online. A complete physical examination and diagnosis at Suffolk Vascular and Vein Center will give you peace of mind about the health of your veins. 

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