Various venous disorders may appear among seniors which are commonly mistaken as normal signs of aging. Diseases of veins in seniors primarily affect the arms and legs. Normally, the valves present in healthy veins in the arms and lower limbs of the body ensure the proper flow of blood towards the heart against gravity. These valves may become weakened or damaged due to aging as the collagen in the veins reduces with old age, decreasing the elasticity and stress tolerance of the veins. The blood then backflows into the veins which leads to swelling, blue or purple discoloration of veins with blood clots. Long hours of strenuous activity in standing position or prolonged bed rest and inactivity, diabetes and use tobacco products comprise some of the risk factors.
Blood clots in veins may cause Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary embolism which can bring serious complications. Varicose vein is one of the most common diseases among the elderly, especially older women. This is characterized by swollen, blue spider veins (blue or purple bursts under the skin) and pain in legs. Peripheral Artery disease is another common ailment among seniors in which blood flow to the lower limbs is reduced due to constricted arteries.
Some basic lifestyle changes can help you to manage and prevent venous diseases. Daily workout, controlling body weight, low salt diet can reduce swelling of veins. Prolonged standing or sitting cross-legged increases the pressure on your veins in legs, so it is advised by doctors to avoid sitting cross-legged, standing for long hours and keeping the legs elevated with pillows and cushions when resting. It is best to avoid high heels, uncomfortable shoes and tight fit clothing.
Heat therapy products like heating pads and belts, infrared lamp, and massagers, hot and cold packs etc help in pain relief. Compression products like firm support stockings reduce swelling and provide comfort. Automatic blood pressure monitor allows you to check regularly and maintain a steady blood pressure. In advanced stages of varicose veins or DVT, walking sticks can be helpful for support. Easy grip cutlery, scissors, buttoner, reachers, uni-turner etc are self-help aids for venous diseases in arms.