Over 50 vein care looks different because of your increased risk for vein disease. And, since Varicose veins are a symptom of vein disease, you’ll want to prevent or treat this symptom. Here’s what to look for:
Varicose veins bulge, twist and show up in dark colors because they are filled with pooling blood. When the blood pools, it’s because the valves in your vessels aren’t working properly, which makes it tougher to deliver blood back to your heart from your legs.
As you get older, your risk of developing varicose veins increases. In fact, by the time you reach 50, about 40% of women and 20% of men will be dealing with varicose veins. Still, celebrating another birthday doesn’t have to mean that varicose veins are your next inevitable milestone. Instead, try making these important lifestyle changes. They can help prevent new varicose veins from developing, and may help reduce the risk of existing ones.
Lifestyle Changes to Protect Against Varicose Veins
If you want to reduce your vein disease risk, try these five steps:
1. Work your legs.
Increasing your physical activity level, especially with moves like daily walks, strengthens the muscles in your calves. And when those muscles are stronger, they contract harder, helping to get pooled blood up and out of your legs.
2. Know your ‘don’ts.’
Avoid sitting for extended periods of time—set a reminder, if necessary, to get up and walk around every 30 minutes. When you are sitting, try not to cross your legs. And, when choosing your OOTD (outfit of the day), steer clear of clothes that cling tightly to your waist, thighs or upper legs (take note of the exception in our next step.)
3. Try compression stockings.
If your vein specialists agrees, compression stockings can help improve your circulation; they place gentle pressure on your legs, keeping blood moving and helping to reduce any existing swelling. You can wear your compression socks all day long. (Or even during short naps.) And doing so will boost your circulation. But when you get into bed at night, give yourself a break and take off those compression garments. Because, unless you have venous leg ulcers, sleeping in compression socks isn’t necessary. In fact, it could cause other problems. So take a break at night, and…
4. Take a break during the day, too.
When you are sitting down, get those feet up. Ideally, you’ll elevate them above the level of your heart. Why does this work so well? Aside from feeling a little indulgent, elevating your feet will get gravity on your side to help prevent blood from pooling in your legs.
5. Lose some weight.
This is, of course, one of the hardest changes to make. But this is the time of year where people commit to taking better care of their bodies. So, if you’re carrying some extra weight right now, consider a New Year’s resolution to eat better and move more (see step 1.) You’ll be helping your veins, your heart, and your over-all wellbeing!
6. See Your Houston Vein Specialists
Remember, over 50 vein care has two parts: prevention and treatment. So, if you’ve already noticed spider veins, don’t wait until they become a bigger issue. Instead, make an appointment at one of our Houston-area clinics right away. After a diagnostic ultrasound, we can help you decide the next best steps towards protecting your vein health for the next 50 years!