Varicose veins affect one in four adults and can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. But confusing and conflicting information about varicose veins can lead to frustration, and as a result a reluctance to seek treatment. Below are five of the most common varicose vein myths and the facts you need to decide which type of varicose vein treatment is right for you.
Myth 1: Varicose Veins are a Sign of Aging
Although varicose veins may worsen as you age because of the natural wear and tear on the vein valves, aging poses only a slight increased risk. The truth is that developing varicose veins is 80 percent hereditary. If one parent had them you have a 40 percent greater chance of developing them as well. If both parents have them, then the chances are even greater that you will develop varicose veins at some point. This could mean as young as your 20s, although they may not be noticeable until you are older. The best practice to follow is to let symptoms guide you, not your age.
Myth 2: Varicose Veins are a Cosmetic
Issue Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to serious complications such as chronic venous insufficiency, venous leg ulcers and weakened vein valves, all of which are serious medical conditions. For this reason, treatment is often indicated, and is not considered cosmetic.
Myth 3: Insurance Won’t Cover Varicose Vein Treatment
As long as patients and physicians can demonstrate that varicose veins are symptomatic, insurance will usually cover the cost. Most often, treating varicose veins is necessary to eliminate symptoms, avoid further damage to the veins, and prevent more painful and serious complications of vein disease.
Myth 4: Varicose Veins Affect Only Women
Women are 25 percent more likely to develop varicose veins than men in part because of hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. However, men can also develop them. In fact, as many as 15 percent of men between the ages of 40-79 have venous disease, which may include varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Men are less likely to seek treatment.
Myth 5: Women Should Wait Until After Pregnancy to Seek Treatment
Pregnancy can contribute to the formation of, or worsen, varicose veins, but supportive care and treatment are available.
Varicose veins can affect anyone and should be evaluated by your doctor. Think you may be at risk? Make an appointment with one of our physicians at the Fisher-Titus Vein Treatment Center at 419-660-2999.