Spring is near and we are all excited to get outside and start enjoying the warm weather. This time of year is so much fun and doesn’t last long, which makes it easy to put off going to the doctor for what may seem like a minor vein issue in your legs. However, vein disease can be an indicator of a more serious issue known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition in which a blood clot is formed in the deep vein, most commonly in your legs. This causes the circulation in your veins to become partially or totally blocked and often leads to painful symptoms like cramping, swelling, warmth in the affected area, or tenderness around the calf area.
Why DVT Awareness is Crucial
We are raising awareness for DVT because if left untreated, it can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 900,000 people are affected by either DVT or PE, or both in the U.S. each year. The blood clots formed in the deep veins of your legs can break off and travel through your circulatory system leading to the blood supply being blocked to your lungs known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE may cause damage to your lung tissue, low oxygen levels in your blood, damage to your other organs, or even death.
Common symptoms of DVT are:
- Pain or tenderness in your leg
- Swelling around your ankle or calf
- Changes in leg skin color (redness)
- Changes in leg skin temperature (warmth, especially on one side)
Common symptoms of pulmonary embolism:
- Unexplained shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- Chest pain, especially when breathing deeply
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Feeling of faintness or fainting
Risk Factors of DVT
Many people experience symptoms from DVT that resemble symptoms from varicose veins, which makes it difficult to diagnose DVT without an ultrasound. DVT can also occur without any warning signs or symptoms. This makes it very important to learn the risk factors of DVT so you can take preventative measures to decrease your risk of developing blood clots. The most common risk factors include:
- Being over the age of 60
- Smoking or alcohol consumption
- Family history of blood clots
- Pregnancy or recent childbirth
- Long periods of immobility
Being aware of common risk factors for DVT and making lifestyle changes is helpful in lower your risk of developing this condition, but it is not a guarantee. One way to make sure you have a healthy circulatory system is make sure you are taking care of your veins. If you notice enlarged, bulging veins that cause pain, you may have a vein disease that requires treatment.
Preventing Future Health Conditions
At USA Vein Clinics, our vascular specialists are able to treat symptomatic vein disease to promote a healthy circulatory system. Our doctors use minimally invasive procedures to treat the source of your vein disease to reduce symptoms and prevent future health risks like DVT.
All of our procedures are performed in our outpatient clinics, which are located across the country so allowing our patients easy access to vein treatment. Vein treatments like Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) usually take between 15 to 30 minutes and patients are able to return to their daily routines immediately. We want to make it easy to keep your veins working properly and reduce painful symptoms. Healthy veins reduce the risk of developing DVT and pulmonary embolism.