SYMPTOMS

Approximately 33% of women and 17% of men have symptoms of venous disease in their legs. The risk of developing a chronic venous disease is increased in the presence of positive hereditary incidence, excess weight, and some professions requiring prolonged periods of standing or sitting. Standing occupations are associated with a 29-34% incidence of venous disease.  The most common symptoms are a heavy feeling, tiredness, and swelling in the legs, especially after prolonged sitting or standing. These conditions can progress and lead to complications such as skin pigmentation, chronic edema, dermatitis, eczema, phlebitis and ulcers.

The range of severity of signs and symptoms is considerable and while they can be responsible for significant discomfort and skin changes, the symptoms are not always directly related to the size of the abnormal veins. Some patients describe severe symptoms with only a small degree of diseased veins while others describe minimal symptoms with a large degree of diseased veins. Some patients deny discomfort despite significant varicose vein disease, but often find that post treatment they realize that the leg actually feels much improved. Varicose veins typically have more severe symptoms while spider veins have more subtle symptoms such as an uncomfortable feeling in the legs, itching, burning or aching.

CLASSIC SYMPTOMS

Heaviness

Aching

Swelling

Throbbing

Cramping

Itchiness

EXACERBATING FACTORS

Females: hormonal changes with menstruation, pregnancy and menopause

Prolonged sitting or standing

Airplane travel of any length

Car travel <4 hours

Heat exposure

OTHER SYMPTOMS

Restless legs, especially at night

Leg fatigue

Dry, itchy,burning skin

Eczema and Skin color changes

Large ropey veins

Varicose veins/Spider veins

Bleeding from broken veins or Ulcers

ALLEVIATING FACTORS

Ambulation

Elevating Legs

Cold therapy

Graduated Compression Stockings

© 2018 Alberta Vein & Vascular Inc.

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