Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged veins at the surface of the skin which may appear twisted, ropey or bulged. Diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins are frequently covered by insurance.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins develop when veins that are supposed to carry blood towards the heart weaken and leak blood in the wrong direction. Inside your leg veins, blood is supposed to get directed upwards with one-way valves. When these become weak or damaged and don’t close properly, blood may flow backward towards your feet. This back-flow of blood is known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux. Pooled blood leads to varicose veins.
- Pain/Aching/Throbbing of Legs
- Heaviness or leg fatigue
- Swelling of feet/ankles
- Restless nights
- Night cramps
- Itchy veins
- Varicose veins
- Non-Healing ulcers
Symptoms often get worse as the day progresses and are sometimes relieved by leg elevation. You can still have venous insufficiency even if you do not have visible abnormal veins.
Chronic venous insufficiency may cause skin changes (known as stasis pigmentation or lipodermatosclerosis) around the ankles and lower legs. This causes the skin to have a brown leathery appearance, which denotes unhealthy skin. Eventually the skin can develop open sores (ulcerations) and bleeding or bruising after a minor injury. Fortunately, this is relatively rare.
What are the risk factors for varicose veins?
- Heredity (runs in the family)
- Older Age
- Female Gender
Many insurance companies cover varicose vein treatment if the medical
condition causes symptoms that limit activities of daily living.