Following are a series of questions about vascular systems and vein diseases as well as a detailed explanation on how graduated compression stockings can really help.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are blood vessels just beneath the skin that have widened and twisted due to a defect in the valves. Some varicose veins cause no symptoms although in some cases they can result in serious medical problems.
Why do varicose veins occur?
Varicose veins occur when the vein valve is no longer functioning properly. This causes blood to pool and stagnate. This process further restricts blood nutrients from reaching muscles, nerve and skin tissue with resulting serious and irreversible damage.
Why do valves fail?
It could be for various reasons, but commonly the valves fail due to inactivity, disease, blood clot, and others factors such as obesity, pregnancy, sitting or standing up for long periods.
Who is at risk?
Several factors can cause or/and accelerate the development of varicose veins: Age, Heredity, Pregnancy, Obesity, Standing and Sitting, Oral contraceptives and surgeries or traumas.
How can varicose veins be prevented?
Exercise regularly, avoid standing/sitting for long periods, avoid high heels shoes, keep your weight down, elevate your legs when you can and always use graduated compression stockings.
How are varicose veins treated?
There are various types of treatment for varicose veins and they all depend on the level of vein disease. Treatment can be graduated compression stockings, injection therapy (Sclerotherapy), surgery and laser therapy.
How compression stockings work?
Basically, graduated compression stockings put pressure on the leg muscles that squeezes the vein valves, thus improving the flow of blood back to the heart. There is less swelling and tiredness in the legs. Compression is firmest at the ankle and gradually reduces as the distance from the ankle increases.
Can I wear T.E.D. stockings instead of graduated compression legwear?
T.E.D. stockings are designed for non-ambulatory patients. If you have a mild to severe varicose vein and you are not a pre or post surgery patient lying down in bed, you should wear graduated compression stockings.
When should I seek medical advice?
You should seek medical advice if you have varicose veins in your family history and if you have the following symptoms: aching, heavy and tired legs, swelling of feet and ankles, itching of the skin in affected area, change in skin color (grey color around the ankles).
What compression should I use?
Please refer to our Compression Level Table for the appropriate compression for you. Remember this table does not replace your doctor's medical advice.
When, where or how should I measure my legs?
It is very important that you are fitted with the correct size of graduated compression stockings. You should be measured first thing in the morning when your legs are not swollen. Do not wear compression garments at night, unless recommended by your doctor.
You can go to a pharmacy to be measured (if you walked to the pharmacy, make sure you rest your legs horizontally before being measured) or you can do it yourself, it is not difficult. Please refer to our Fitting Room tips. Re-measure your legs every 6 months when you need to replace your stockings and remember graduated compression stockings are designed to be firm and supportive.