You can have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) without any noticeable symptoms. However, when there are symptoms of DVT and venous disease, it’s important to take note and see a physician right away. If you have any of the following DVT symptoms, it’s important to take action; get evaluated and, if a blood clot is present, treatment from a qualified physician, surgeon, or vein specialist.
Don’t Ignore These Important DVT Symptoms
While many people have no symptoms with DVT, you should pay attention to the following warnings of a blood clot in the deep vein:
- pain in the calf, foot, or leg
- leg swelling and/or tenderness
- skin is warm to the touch
- skin redness or discoloration on the leg
- sudden leg fatigue
- swollen veins or varicose veins
If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, it’s important to call your doctor or contact the Vein Specialists of the South for a full evaluation.
Why Is DVT So Dangerous?
DVT, a blood clot in the deep vein of the leg, can impede the healthy venous blood flow back up to the heart. If the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs causing a life threatening, emergency condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE).
If a blood clot reaches the lungs it causes the symptoms of PE:
- a sense of doom
- chest heaviness
- difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- sharp chest pain
- bloody mucus and coughing
- rapid breathing
- accelerated heart rate
- dizziness/feeling light headed/fainting
Again, PE is deadly. Seek emergency medical attention if you have these symptoms!
Who Is At Risk For DVT And PE?
Anyone can develop a DVT/PE. However, your risks increase if you:
- are female, especially if you are 35+, pregnant, or using hormonal birth control
- live a sedentary lifestyle
- have been on bed rest for an extended period of time due to illness, injury, or surgery
- have varicose veins
- have a personal or family history of venous disease and/or blood clots
- are overweight or obese
- sit or stand for long periods of time, even for work
If you are in any of these high-risk categories, even if you do not have any DVT symptoms, we recommend getting evaluated by a vein specialist to ensure your veins are healthy and exercise preventative care to protect yourself from a life-threatening emergency.
Can You Prevent DVT?
The risks of DVT and venous disease can be decreased if you are healthy, active, and make a few lifestyle changes. The Better Veins for Life® principles we recommend to our patients include:
- leg elevation to assist blood flow back to the heart and reduce swelling
- regular exercise and stretching
- wear compression hosiery, socks, or leggings, especially if your job keeps you on your feet or sitting at a computer all day
- healthy weight management
- avoiding high heels if you have symptoms of vein disease
- evaluate and treat spider veins and varicose veins with a vein specialist
- regular check-ups with a vein specialist if you take hormonal birth control or other medications that increase blood clot risks
Protect Yourself Before DVT Symptoms Appear
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
If you have an increased risk of DVT, we recommend a screening evaluation with one of our vein specialists, even if you have no DVT symptoms or other signs of venous disease. A vein evaluation includes a detailed history and physical exam and a specialized ultrasound to detect any underlying venous disease or “undetected” blood clots. If vein disease is detected this thorough evaluation prepares us to discuss conservative and preventive care and, if necessary, minimally invasive procedures that can treat varicose veins and blood clots.