leg-1404698_960_720Sorry men, you can’t escape genetics. Although many people mistakenly associate varicose veins as a middle-to-older age women’s condition, anyone can develop varicose veins.

The National Institute of Health estimates that over 30% of women and nearly 20% of men in the US are affected by varicose veins in their legs or feet. While it’s true that women are prone to certain risk factors such as hormonal influences during pregnancy, menopause and from the use of oral contraception, the most common indicator for developing varicose veins is heredity.

If you have a family history of varicose veins, you should monitor any symptoms closely as you are at a higher chance of developing venous disease. Additional risk factors include high blood pressure, being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. Varicose veins can also arise simply as a result of normal wear and tear of aging on the veins. At Premier Vein Clinics of Knoxville, we’ve also treated men whose occupations require long periods of standing or sitting, which increases the risk of developing varicose veins.

Varicose—meaning enlarged or swollen—veins develop when the one-way valves in the vein become damaged or weak. The valves in healthy leg veins keep the blood flowing continuously upward toward the heart, against gravity, but when the valves malfunction blood flows back and pools in the vein. This creates the twisted, bulging appearance, that may cause swelling, pain, or fatigue in the legs.

The good news is that procedures to treat varicose veins have come a long way from the tortuous-sounding “stripping” procedures of the past. Vein specialists today, like those at Premier Vein Clinics, use advanced laser techniques to remove and seal shut varicose veins in quick, minimally invasive, in-office procedures.

Unfortunately, the mere appearance of varicose veins isn’t always enough to nudge men to come in for a consult. Too many men wait until the pain and discomfort are negatively impacting their work and quality of life—but keep in mind that varicose veins do not heal or go away on their own, and typically worsen with age. The sooner varicose veins are treated, the better. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available with little to no downtime, and insurance typically covers the procedures.

There are many options for the treatment of diseased veins and your best option depends on the severity of your condition, your preference, and desired outcomes. The most important aspect to consider is that you don’t need to put up with the discomfort your varicose veins are causing.

If you are concerned about developing varicose veins, or are suffering from pain or swelling in your legs, it’s time to consult with one of the local board certified vascular surgeons at Premier Vein Clinics in Knoxville to discuss your options for keeping your legs healthy and free of varicose veins.