There’s a common misconception that varicose veins only affect older adults. This is not so. It may be true that most of our clients are in the fifty to seventy years age bracket. But, Dr David Orsbourn has treated patients as young as sixteen. If you’ve ever wondered who gets varicose veins, read on because we’re going to answer that question.
Who gets varicose veins?
Men and women between fifty to seventy:
In New Zealand, up to 40% of women and 25% of men are affected by varicose veins of varying severity. Many of these are in the fifty to seventy years age bracket. That’s because as we age, our veins and valves age too. They can become weaker and stop functioning as they should.
A change in hormones can often lead to venous insufficiency. So, we also see post-menopausal women at our vein clinics in Nelson and Marlborough.
The change in hormone levels can also contribute to pregnant women or mothers of young children who visit us for treatment. During pregnancy, as your baby and uterus grow, the normal outflow of blood back from the legs to the heart can be compromised. This causes increased pressure in the leg veins, enlarging them and making them more visible. These can also become increasingly painful during your pregnancy.
People who stand or sit for too long at work:
Whether you have a sedentary job or spend all day on your feet, your risk of varicose veins increases.
When we sit or stand for extended periods, the muscles in our legs, which play a significant role in propelling blood forward, become unable to assist in pushing the blood against gravity.
Overweight or obese people:
Excess weight puts additional strain on your circulatory system, increasing the chance that varicose veins will develop
People with a genetic predisposition to varicose veins:
This is the most significant contributing factor to varicose veins developing. In short, if your parents or grandparents have suffered, there is a higher likelihood that you will too.
At the end of the day, anybody can develop varicose veins for various reasons. If you experience any symptoms, we recommend you contact us for a complimentary initial consultation with Dr David.
Signs & Symptoms of Varicose Veins:
- You will often see visible signs and symptoms on your legs or feet. They might be blue or dark purple in colour. Furthermore, they are often lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance.
- Your legs may feel achy, heavy or tired. Or you may feel a burning or throbbing sensation in your legs. If your legs consistently feel uncomfortable when sitting or standing for periods, and you feel a sense of relief when you elevate your legs, you may be suffering from varicose veins that are not visible.
- Do you suffer from restless legs, which are crampy or tingly, particularly at night? These symptoms can often be attributed to varicose veins. Past studies have shown that 80 per cent of people who had varicose veins treated saw improvement in their restless legs syndrome and could sleep more comfortably at night.
- If the skin on your legs is excessively dry and itchy, this, too, could be a sign of underlying sign of venous insufficiency.