Healthy Living

How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

Key Takeaways

  • It may not be necessary to visit your doctor if your varicose veins are not bothering you
  • Since varicose veins are identified according to how they look, your legs will be inspected by the doctor  to look for signs of engorgement
  • Swollen and noticeable, varicose veins that are large can be long, more than 4 mm in diameter and tangible

Blood from body organs is transported to the heart via blood vessels, or veins.  Organs use oxygen to function, and they discharge blood that has been used that contains waste products like carbon dioxide. The veins then take the blood to the heart and back to the lungs, where the carbon dioxide is discharged, and additional oxygen is taken by the blood.  The arteries then take the blood to other parts of the body.

Depending on where they are situated, veins have different functions and sizes. The largest veins are found near the body’s center, . They gather blood coming from smaller veins, and take it to the heart. As they go further from the body’s center, the branches of these large veins become smaller in size.

 

Spider veins and varicose veins

Swollen and noticeable, varicose veins can be more than 4 mm in diameter.

Spider veins are small and can show on the surface of the skin. They may appear like starburst clusters, a maze that looks like a web, or fine lines that are short. Normally, you cannot feel them by touching. They mostly occur in the feet, thighs, and ankles. They can also appear on the face. Telangiectasia is the medical term for spider veins.

It may not be necessary to visit a doctor if your varicose veins are not bothering you. They are generally not severe, and sometimes treatment is not needed.

You must see a doctor if you are experiencing the following: 

  • Discomfort and pain
  • Skin that is sore and irritated
  • Achy legs resulting to irritation at night and interrupting your sleep

Since varicose veins are identified according to how they look. Your legs will be inspected by the doctor as you stand to look for signs of engorgement.

A doctor will inquire about any pain you might have and if there are circumstances that worsen the condition. For instance, a number of women reported their varicose veins are more affected by menstrual periods.

Certain factors create higher chances of having varicose veins, like the presence of the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Family history
  • Unhealthy BMI (body mass index)
  • A blood clot inside one of the body’s deep veins (Deep vein thrombosis)
  • Leg injury history

 

Examination

You may be referred by your doctor to a vascular specialist if you experience any of the following:

  • Varicose veins resulting in discomfort, engorgement, pain, itching, heaviness or aching
  • Alterations in the leg’s skin color that may be as a result of complications of blood flow in the leg
  • Skin disorders in your leg such as eczema
  • Hard and painful veins 
  • An ulcer in your leg that may or may not be healed

A test known as a duplex ultrasound scan, is usually performed. This scan uses sound waves of high frequency to create an image of the leg’s veins.

The flow of blood is displayed on the image, and this assists the specialist in finding any valves that are destroyed, which may be the cause of your varicose veins.