Venous reflux, also known as venous insufficiency, is a type of circulatory condition where there is a decreased return of blood from the veins in the extremities, to the heart. It is especially common in the legs, as gravity makes the blood pool in the veins around the legs.
According to the Heart of Dixie Vein Center, venous reflux occurs if the legs become unhealthy or damaged. Some of the noticeable symptoms of the condition include leg pain, burning, itching, and a heavy feeling that often leads to fatigue.
Some women do not immediately notice the early signs of venous reflux, leaving it untreated. This eventually leads to more serious clinical issues.
Common Yet Untreated
Venous disorders affect as much as 50% of the population and are especially common in the elderly. Despite being a relatively common condition, it is often left untreated as some people do not believe that it is serious enough to earn a visit to a medical practitioner.
There are over 30 million people in the U.S. who have the disease, yet only 1.9 million people are choosing to get treatment.
Another issue that contributes to the lack of treatment is that some health practitioners who do not specialize in circulatory disorders typically have a more difficult time prescribing the correct treatment. As venous reflux is so widely misunderstood, many leave it to progress further and to become a more serious condition.
Untreated Venous Reflux
High blood pressure, as well as a condition called deep vein thrombosis, are the primary causes of venous reflux. This is a condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein, causing blockages. If left untreated, it eventually manifests in the appearance of varicose or spider veins, which are thick, raised, blue or red colored veins that appear just on the surface of the skin.
Venous reflux often spreads down the leg, as the pooling of the blood causes the vein valves to distend. This makes the veins further down the leg to distend, further compounding the problem.
Eventually, it causes pain, swelling, and skin ulcers. There is also a risk of the blood clots to break away and travel to the lungs, causing death.
Venous reflux is a potentially life-threatening condition if left untreated. People who suspect that they have it should go to a medical specialist right away.