What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a disease that occurs when blood clots in one of the body’s deep veins. This clot is most common in the legs, although it can affect other parts of the body as well. Blood clots occur when blood thickens and clumps together. Deep vein thrombosis symptoms are typically swelling, discoloration, cramping, or warmth in the affected area or no signs at all. DVT can take a more severe turn because blood clots in your veins can travel up to your lungs.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms
DVT signs and symptoms usually form in one leg or arm.
However, not everyone will experience symptoms, and it may go undetected until examined by a physician.
Most common deep vein thrombosis symptoms:
- Swelling in the leg
- Warmth to touch in the affected area
- Skin redness
- Pain or tenderness in your lower body such as a cramp
DVT Causes and Risk Factors
DVT can form at any age as a result of anything that prevents the blood from circulating properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 900,000 people are affected by either DVT or a pulmonary embolism (PE), or both in the U.S. each year.
Many people experience deep vein thrombosis symptoms that resemble those of varicose veins, which often makes it difficult to diagnose DVT without an ultrasound. The condition can also occur without any DVT signs and symptoms, making it very
important to learn the DVT causes. This way, you can take preventative measures to decrease your risk of developing blood clots. The most common DVT causes and risk factors include:
- Recent accident or surgery that required lengthy bed rest
- Having a blood-clotting disorder or a family history of these disorders
- Sitting for long periods, such as flights or car rides
- Current or former smoker
- Varicose veins
- Over the age of 60 years old
Deep vein thrombosis symptoms become dangerous if the blood clot breaks loose. Clots which break off can potentially travel through the bloodstream and land in the lungs — a condition called Pulmonary Embolism (PE). It’s important to talk to a vascular specialist if you notice any signs of DVT. They can perform an ultrasound to officially diagnose the disease.
Being aware of common risk factors for DVT and making lifestyle changes are helpful to 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 to make sure you are taking care of your veins.
Blood clots commonly form while travelling. If you are going to be sitting for long periods, drink plenty of water. It’s also helpful if you walk or stretch your legs frequently. Another tip is to wear loose-fitting clothes that won’t put pressure on your veins and circulatory system.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment
If you notice enlarged, bulging, painful veins, you may have a vein disease that requires treatment.
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. Don’t wait until it is too late; schedule your consultation today at the location nearest you.