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What is venous disease?

Venous disease occurs when your leg veins become damaged and don’t allow blood to flow back up towards your heart.

September marks Venous Disease Awareness Month, raising awareness of venous disease and supporting you to spot the early signs and symptoms to prevent conditions from getting worse.

What is venous disease?

Venous disease occurs when your leg veins don’t allow blood to flow back up to your heart. Our veins contain little one way valves that prevent the blood from flowing back down your leg, however these valves can sometimes get damaged or become weak.

Poor blood flow in the veins

When this happens the blood pressure in your veins increases, which can cause them to become very swollen. When this high pressure is not resolved, our legs can become unhealthy and start to show signs of venous disease, such as varicose veins and swollen ankles. See our common conditions page for more signs of venous disease. 

Symptoms that are associated with this condition can include itchy skin and aching, tired legs. If this is not managed, it can result in a simple scratch or knock to our legs, which can develop into a venous ulcer ulcer

If you think that you have any of the signs and symptoms of venous disease, its important that you do something as early as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse. You should contact your GP for advice and next steps in managing your leg health.

Watch this short video that explains what venous insufficiency means, how veins work as part of the venous system, and the importance of having a healthy venous system.

Blog content by Director of Lower Limb Consultancy Services Ltd, and Honorary Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Andy Kerr.  

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