To really understand the kinds of diseases that can affect your blood vessels, you have to understand how they work when they’re healthy. Arteries, which carry oxygenated blood from your heart to your organs and extremities, have their own internal muscles with which to pump blood. Veins, whose job is to route deoxygenated blood and waste materials back to the lungs and heart for renewal, don’t have their own “pumping muscles.” Instead, they rely on the movement of neighboring muscles to compress the veins and thus force blood back to your heart. This is made possible by one-way valves that open when muscle pressure forces blood through them, but then close immediately afterward.
According to Delray Beach vein treatment specialists, two possible medical conditions can interfere with this healthy functioning of your veins. The first of these conditions is referred to as insufficiency, in which the valves are damaged by disease and become “leaky,” failing to close properly once blood flows through them. Because they remain open, these diseased valves allow blood to flow back into the veins and collect there.
The other condition that can affect your veins is called thrombosis, in which blood clots begin to form on the inner walls of the veins, as the result of disease or physical damage. These blood clots, called thrombi, narrow the veins and restrict the proper flow of blood, thus impairing your overall circulation. But there is a worse possibility with thrombosis, which is that the blood clots break loose from the vein walls where they formed, and travel through your venous system to other locations, where they can cause more serious damage.
The most common form of vein disease is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
Also called venous reflux, this condition causes veins to become swollen and discolored (taking on a bluish-purple color), and is the primary cause of varicose veins. CVI does not always result in varicose veins, but it always causes impairment of your circulatory system, and it may manifest in other symptoms such as chronically swollen and painful legs and ankles, changes in the color and texture of the skin, and the formation of leg ulcers – bleeding sores that do not respond to normal treatment and refuse to heal.
Thrombosis is less common, but much more dangerous
The most common form of this condition is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), because the blood clots begin to form in the large, deep veins of your legs. Because of the depth of the veins, surface symptoms of these blood clots do not always appear, so people can have DVT and not know it. This is very dangerous, because if the blood clots travel to the brain they can cause a stroke, and if they travel to your lungs they can cause a pulmonary embolism. These conditions kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, most of whom never knew they had a serious vein disease.
How do I know for sure if I have (or am at risk for) CVI or DVT?
The most effective way to be sure is to pick up your telephone and dial 561-515-0080 and schedule an appointment with the Florida vein specialists at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates. These specialists, widely known as some of the best vein doctors in Florida, can schedule a painless, non-invasive venous health screening to determine the exact state of your vein health. These screenings take only about an hour, but they can detect signs of CVI, DVT, and other dangerous vein diseases before they have had time to damage your overall health. In the screening, these Palm Beach vein treatment experts will ask questions about your and your family’s health history to determine your level of vein disease risk. They will also perform tests that may include the use of duplex ultrasound, which allows them to see your actual veins and the blood flowing through them to check for signs of insufficiency or thrombosis.
If they find indications of vein disease, don’t worry, because it can be effectively treated. Both CVI and DVT can be eliminated completely using minimally-invasive methods that allow you to be treated in SPCVA’s comfortable offices, without having to go to a hospital. The treatments are so gentle and painless that most of the time they don’t even require anesthesia. So even though both CVI and DVT are serious diseases, you shouldn’t waste time worrying about them. Instead, just give us a call and become proactive about your vein health.