Healthy veins are vital for maintaining optimum circulatory health. Without healthy veins, blood cannot flow properly and efficiently from different parts of the body back to the heart. As we age, the health of our veins begins to deteriorate. This is why having a simple vein screening can be the difference between life and death.
What is a Vein Screening?
The primary objective of conducting a vein screening is to identify blood circulation problems known as vein insufficiency. If blood does not circulate properly, the veins can begin to stretch and cause a myriad of health problems.
Signs of vein disease are often times visible on the lower half of the body. These can include swelling in the legs, varicose veins, spider veins and changes in the color of the skin. Sometimes the skin on the regions affected might even begin to significantly thicken.
A basic ultrasound scan may be used to determine if there is vein insufficiency that might not be recognizable from a simple physical exam. Our physician can use the scan to pinpoint any clogs in the veins that might be causing or possibly leading to vein insufficiency. The scan will also provide an opportunity to measure vital vein functions to single out any abnormalities.
Diseases Caused by Vein Insufficiency
A vein screening can help identify a variety of vein-related diseases that might develop or that might exist already. One of the most serious of these is a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is when there are blood clots in the veins that travel to the lungs. The blood clot breaks away and makes its way to the lungs, causing serious respiratory problems.
Another serious vein-related disease is lymphedema. This occurs when there is a clot in the lymphatic system, a section of the immune system. The clot keeps lymph fluid from draining properly. The accumulation of fluid then leads to pain and swelling, usually in the lower extremities.
Chronic venous disease (CVD) is attributed to other serious conditions that are associated with or originate from veins that become irregular or diseased. These can cause leg swelling and pain, leg ulcers and inflammation of veins.
Risks of Venous Disease
There are many risk factors associated with venous disease. One of these factors is age. The older we get, the more of a risk we are at of developing some kind of venous insufficiency. The risk begins to increase significantly after age 45.
Those with a family history of conditions like pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis should have a vein screening. These people are at a considerable risk of developing these same conditions.
People who smoke have a higher chance of developing some kind of vein insufficiency as well as those who are obese. There are plenty of other risk factors. Ultimately, it can be very beneficial for adults over the age of 45, and even younger adults, to get a vein screening.