Teachers spend a lot of time teaching, interacting with students and other teachers. All this may involve a lot of standing and walking. Prolonged hours of standing can increase the pressure within the veins in the leg and can lead to varicose veins.
What is a varicose vein?
Veins contain one-way valves to prevent blood from flowing backward. When these one-way valves do not work properly or when the pressure inside the vein becomes too high, it causes the vein to enlarge and become a varicose vein.
What causes it?
1. Standing for a long duration
Research claims that standing for long duration of time can increase the risk of varicose veins. This doesn’t mean that one can remain seated for long to avoid varicose veins, as certain reports also claim that varicose veins occur in people who are seated for a long duration of time. It is advised for teachers to create a balance between the two, and constantly stretch their legs.
2. Weak vein walls and valves
One of the most common cause of varicose veins is the weakening of vein walls and valves. Sometimes, the walls of the veins stretch and lose their elasticity. When this happens, the valves stop functioning normally, causing the blood to flow backwards. This results in blood collection in the veins which become swollen and enlarged.
Sometimes, the risk of developing varicose veins can be attributed to genes. If a close family member has been diagnosed with it, it is most likely that the others in the family may also show signs of varicose veins.
It has been found that the veins lose their elasticity as one starts to age. The valves in the veins stop working as well. Hence, age is an important cause of varicose veins.
5. Other factors
Factors like weight, overall health, the kind of profession can also lead to varicose veins.
Some of the symptoms of varicose veins are:
Large veins visible under the skin - One can often notice large veins protruding or bulging from under the skin.
Swelling of ankles and feet - Since varicose veins affects the leg, one will often have swollen ankles and feet.
Painful and heavy legs - Another symptom of varicose vein is a heavy and painful leg.
Pain or cramp in legs - Cramps or tightening of the muscles is a common symptom in people who have varicose veins.
Itching - The leg can get itchy due to varicose veins.
Discoloration of area around the vein - The area having bulged veins can get discoloured.
Though varicose vein is not a very serious condition, it can lead to certain complications like:
1. Blood Clots
Veins deep within the leg may become enlarged, causing the leg to swell. This may result in blood clot or thrombophlebitis.
Occasionally veins close to the skin may burst, causing minor bleeding.
3. Leg ulcers
Leg ulcers are known to be painful and may form on the skin, near the veins especially near the ankles. They are caused due to long term fluid build-up in the tissues.
How to overcome it?
While there is no way to completely prevent varicose veins, certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of the condition, like:
Exercising or just moving around without standing or sitting for too long can help to keep the risk of varicose veins at bay.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is not just about staying fit by exercising, but it also includes eating a balanced diet.
Rest your feet as much as possible
To improve the circulation of blood to the legs, exercise as soon as you wake up in the morning. Try to elevate the level of your legs above the level of your heart.
Take care of your legs
Taking care of the legs is not just limited to exfoliating and scrubbing it. It also includes wearing comfortable footwear which doesn’t cause too much pressure on the legs/ankles.
While varicose vein is not a serious issue, it is advised to not remain sitting or standing for a long duration of time. Visiting a doctor at the earliest would also help to address the issue.