Could Varicose Veins Cause You to Lose Sleep?
Much of the time, varicose veins are considered a cosmetic problem. The truth is, these bulging, ropy veins can be much more concerning than that. Varicose veins are larger vessels that have malfunctioned. The valves that keep blood moving forward and back toward the heart have become weak. This allows blood to pool in a part of the vein. At first, a varicose vein may be a small bump on the skin or an area of discoloration. As more of the vein becomes affected, a line of swelling can be observed. This can be enormously embarrassing. Even worse, varicose veins can be painful.
Varicose veins often present common symptoms such as itching, burning, aching, leg fatigue, and cramping. Because we are busy and mentally occupied during the day, these symptoms may not be noticed. At night, however, when we sit down to relax, the pressure that has built up in the blood vessels of the legs is difficult to ignore. It may be possible to remedy aching and cramping by elevating the legs. However, a small percentage of people with varicose veins may also develop restless leg syndrome, a condition that can make a good night’s sleep all but impossible.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates that only about 10% of Americans may have restless leg syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include involuntary twitching of the legs when one tries to sleep. Some people also experience a “pins-and-needles” sensation. Constant movement is needed to alleviate these symptoms, but nothing really seems to work.
Studies performed in the past two decades suggest that restless leg syndrome may improve to some degree when varicose veins are treated. In one research project, 98% of patients improved after receiving sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Today, we have multiple approaches that we can consider for troublesome bulging veins. The options in treatment allow us to address each patient’s needs based on the severity and number of varicose veins they have.
Are you struggling with the symptoms of varicose veins? Schedule a consultation in our Bridgewater or Clinton, NJ office at (908) 788-0066.