If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with vein disease, it is normal to be curious and find out everything you can about veins and treatments. There is a lot of general information out there, but there are some things about veins that may not be so easy to find and that may even be surprising.
Nashville, TN residents should know the following little-known facts about veins:
- Veins are made up of layers. Veins are tubular structures that transport nutrients and blood throughout the body and back to the heart. The walls of veins may be thin, but they are constructed from three distinct layers. The first, outer layer is made up of collagen, elastic fibers and other connective tissues. The elasticity of the fibers allow the vein walls to stretch a bit, which helps to prevent the walls to overstretch or burst under the blood pressure. The second layer is smooth muscle that is found in arteries, only thinner in veins. The third and inner layer is composed of the tissues that make up the one-way valves that help transport blood through the veins.
- Veins use a built-in system of one-way valves that build up pressure to push blood up to the heart. You already know veins act as vessels that carry used blood back up to the heart. But most people don’t think about how the blood moves through the veins. In order to successfully fight against gravity in route from the lower body to the heart, veins use a clever system of valves that open and close to build up pressure and keep blood moving in an upward direction.
- Blood trapped inside varicose veins appears blue, but it’s actually red. It is true that blood is red, and it might be confusing to see the blue color through the skin you look at your veins. If varicose veins hold trapped blood, then why are varicose veins blue?
Blood is red whether it’s in your veins or if you’re bleeding, regardless of what you see. Humans see color by processing various wavelengths of light between the eyes and brain. As light passes through skin, the wavelength is changed and so is the color you see.
- Your job or your lifestyle may be bad for your veins. While gender and family history are major factors in developing vein disease, there are things you do (or don’t do) that affect your veins as well. Extended periods of standing, such as working in a store can increase the risk for developing vein disease. So can too much sitting, whether it’s because of a desk job or because you like to watch a lot of television. Smoking, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise also contribute to vein disease.
- Varicose veins are not always just an aesthetic concern. While it’s perfectly understandable to be ashamed of unsightly varicose veins and spider veins, varicose vein treatment is not just a cosmetic luxury. Varicose veins are diseased veins, whether they are uncomfortable or just unattractive. Vein disease can often go unnoticed or neglected because varicose veins may be the only sign of an underlying condition that needs proper treatment. If you suspect that you have vein disease, you shouldn’t wait until it gets worse to seek the care of a vein expert in Nashville.
Don’t let vein disease surprise you. If you have any questions about vein disease, treatments or just want to know more, Dr. Tif Siragusa and his medical staff are happy to help. Contact our vein clinic in Nashville today by calling 615-777-0744.