We know that aging has its challenges, not the least of which is keeping track of the growing list of potential health concerns. If you’re wondering whether age can influence the development of varicose veins, the short answer is yes.
To help you better understand the connection between aging and varicose veins, the team here at Louisiana Heart and Vascular, under the direction of triple board-certified interventional cardiologist Dr. Farhad Aduli, pulled together the following information.
An increase in risk
Up to a quarter of adults in the United States have varicose veins, and women outpace men by two to one. While gender is one of the biggest risk factors for varicose veins, age, too, plays a large role.
Varicose veins occur when the small valves that keep the blood from spilling backward in the veins in your legs begin to weaken. As a result, blood can engorge a vein and send it toward the surface of your skin.
This valve weakness and malfunction can be caused by many things, such as standing for prolonged periods, hormonal changes, and simple aging. Over time, these valves, like other areas of the body, can lose strength after years of great service.
Adding to the problem, many people over age 60 aren’t as active, which means that muscles in their lower legs can also be weaker. The veins in your lower legs rely on strong calf muscles to help keep the blood flowing up toward your heart.
Between the natural weakening of the valves over time and the loss of muscle support, your risk for varicose veins increases with age.
Varicose veins can be more than just unsightly
In many cases, varicose veins are unsightly, but they’re not symptomatic. However, your chances of developing symptoms from varicose veins can increase with age.
For example, one study of more than 3,000 people ages 18-79 found that the prevalence of symptoms increased with age. While a little more than 45% of people ages 18-29 reported symptomatic varicose, but nearly 74% ages 70-79 reported symptomatic varicose veins.
When we discuss symptoms, we’re referring to:
- Heaviness in the legs
- A feeling of tightness
Furthermore, as you get older, you have a higher chance of developing ulcers around the varicose veins, because tissues naturally thin over time.
Solutions for varicose veins
The good news is that no matter your age, there are solutions for varicose veins, and we offer them here. From sclerotherapy to radio frequency ablation, we can quickly and easily eliminate varicose veins during an in-office visit.If you’re concerned about your varicose veins or your risks for developing them as you get older, book an appointment online or over the phone with Louisiana Heart and Vascular today. We’re located in Covington and Franklinton, Louisiana, and we also serve patients from Mandeville, Hammond, and Slidell.