Veins contain valves and venous disease results from damage to vein valves.
Venus Reflux Disease (also known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency) occurs when faulty valves allow the blood in the veins to flow backwards and pool in the lower half of the body. The increased pressure from the pooled blood leads to additional veins becoming elongated, dilated and gnarled (or varicose). In turn, these veins fail, leading to greater compromise of proper blood flow back to the heart. Under the force of gravity, the increasing pool of non circulating venous blood leads to venous hypertension.
Venous hypertension leads to inflammation and congestion in the tissue of the legs and is responsible for the symptoms of venous insufficiency, which can include edema, pain, aching skin discoloration, leg cramping, leg fatigue and restlessness. Vein problems increase with age, can progress to the point of being disabling, and should not be ignored. Most insurance companies cover treatment of venous disease.
Common problems of the veins include:
Varicose veins are stretched, swollen veins that become that way because the
valves do not close completely, and a significant amount of blood pools behind the valves. As the amount of pooled blood increases, the walls of the veins weaken. The dilation or ballooning of the veins can occur anywhere from the ankle to the groin. In addition to being unattractive, the condition that results from the valves functioning improperly and the weakened vein walls can be uncomfortable and even painful.
Varicose veins often cause discomfort and look unattractive. Left untreated, varicose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time. They can cause the legs and feet to swell. Leg muscles may feel fatigued or throb and cramp at night. The skin at or around the spider veins or varicose veins can itch or burn, and can occasionally lead to more serious problems.