Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when veins in your legs are not able to adequately return blood to the heart. This causes the veins to become swollen and can lead to pain, swelling, varicose veins, itching, leg ulcers, and other skin changes. It most commonly affects people over the age of 50, but anyone can develop CVI.

What Causes CVI?

CVI is usually caused by damage or narrowing of the veins, which leads to impaired blood flow. This damage can be due to aging, obesity, smoking, prolonged standing or sitting, or a history of deep vein thrombosis. Chronic venous insufficiency can also be inherited.

Symptoms of CVI

Common symptoms of CVI include:

  • Swollen Legs, Ankles, and Feet
  • Pain and Discomfort in the legs
  • Aching or Itching Legs
  • Darkening of the Skin
  • Leg Ulcers
  • Varicose Veins

Treatment of CVI

There are a number of treatments for CVI, depending on the severity and cause of the condition. These treatments include:

  • Compression Stockings: These stockings help to promote blood flow and reduce swelling in the legs.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise, such as walking, can help to reduce the symptoms of CVI.
  • Elevate Your Legs: Raising your legs when possible helps to reduce swelling.
  • Medication: A doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce inflammation, and to prevent further damage.
  • Surgery: If the symptoms of CVI are severe, a doctor may recommend surgery to repair the veins.

Preventing CVI

To help prevent CVI, you should:

  • Avoid prolonged standing or sitting
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Wear Compression Stockings while standing or sitting
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables