Symptoms of Poor Circulation In this article, we will focus on the symptoms of poor circulation and when you should seek medical help. Signs of Poor Circulation 1. Varicose Veins If the valves in the veins of the legs are damaged, your blood will find it difficult to get back to the heart. This results in engorged veins and will eventually cause varicosities in the legs. Varicose veins are more common to those who regularly stand for long periods. 2. Painful Muscle Cramping The most common symptom of poor circulation is claudication, described as muscle discomfort or painful cramping, particularly in the legs. This is felt when you exercise or walk and usually disappears after resting your legs. The muscles that are most involved are the hips, thighs or calves. Claudication happens if there is a hindrance to the normal blood flow. For example, in atherosclerosis, where there is a buildup of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels, the muscles cannot get enough blood during physical activity. The cramping pain is the muscle’s way of warning you that it is not getting enough blood during exercise to meet its increased demand. 3. Numbness or Weakness Reduced blood flow to different body parts may cause slow and irreversible damage to the nerves, which may be felt as tingling, numbness or weakness in that area. This is particularly alarming because having numbness on the extremities decreases your skin’s sensitivity to pain. As a result, there may be instances where your skin has already been damaged or wounded, but you cannot feel it. 4. Temperature Differences in the Extremities Poor circulation can lead to fluctuations in your skin’s temperature regulation. For example, reduced blood flow to your hands or feet may make them colder than the other parts of your body. To assess the temperature of your skin, you can use the back of your hands for a more accurate assessment. 5. Wounds That Do Not Heal or Heal Slowly Wounds heal by the different components and cells delivered through the bloodstream to the affected area. When blood flow is compromised, the healing process takes much longer and may even lead to infections. Even the slightest break in the skin may lead to catastrophic changes that could lead to amputation, especially in people with diabetes. 6. Change of Skin Color When there is insufficient blood flow, the skin may appear pale or blue (cyanosis). The change of color in the skin indicates that the oxygen-rich blood is unable to reach those tissues. The commonly affected body parts that may have this symptom are the toes, fingers, palms, soles and lips. [youmaylike] 7. Poor Hair or Nail Growth Hair and nails need the nutrients in your body to keep them healthy. Nutrients are delivered to the hair and nails through the blood. Therefore, any blockage or hindrance of the normal circulation of blood may affect the growth of healthy hair and nails, which can lead to hair loss or poor nail growth. 8. Shiny Skin on Legs Shiny skin on the legs can indicate that the skin stretched due to excess fluids in the legs. Poor circulation can cause blood pooling in the legs, resulting in fluid leakage from the blood vessels to the surrounding tissues. In turn, the skin will stretch, giving it a shiny appearance. 9. Weak Pulses When blood flow is restricted, the usual, brisk pulses on the extremities become weaker. Doctors usually include this in their physical examination to rule out any peripheral arterial disease. 10. Erectile Dysfunction in Men The penis is made up mostly of blood vessels. Penile erection happens because the arteries of the penis are filled up with blood to elongate and stiffen the organ. When there is poor circulation, blood cannot fill up the blood vessels in the penis. Most cases of impotence are a complication primarily of the arterial system. What is Poor Circulation? Poor circulation is not a condition in itself, but having any of its symptoms may indicate more serious conditions, such as: Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Uncontrolled diabetes. Blood clots. Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in the vessels). Heart conditions. Having poor circulation may not be apparent initially. Still, whether you experience symptoms or not, it is important to be aware of them early on to help detect the underlying cause. For example, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are all factors that increase the likelihood of a person experiencing poor circulation symptoms. In Review The symptoms of poor circulation may vary for each person. In general, conditions that cause poor circulation are easier to treat when your doctor detects it early. If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect that it may be caused by a dysfunction in your normal blood circulation, it is essential that you see your doctor for assessment and treatment right away.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is an eye disease, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD). This condition can lead to loss of vision, especially for those over 60 years old. The disease is characterized by the thinning of the macular, a subsection of the retina, situated at the back layer of the eye and transmits what the eyes see in the brain through the optic nerve.
There are two types of AMD: wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is characterized by yellow deposits, also known as drusen, in the macula. The drusen become bigger, increase in number as the disease advances, and then they begin to distort and blur your vision. The light sensitive cells in your macular thin out and die. As the disease progresses, you may develop a blind spot at the center of your vision until you lose central vision.
Wet macular degeneration is characterized by the growth of blood vessels form under the macula. The blood vessels leak blood and other fluids into your retina. This distorts your vision and causes straight lines to look bent. Eventually, the bleeding blood vessels scar, and cause a permanent loss of central vision.
90% of the people with AMD have the dry form even though, in some cases, it develops into the wet form.
Macular degeneration usually occurs progressively. Most patients with AMD have no pain, which means the disease is often caught at an advanced stage, having affected both eyes.
Common symptoms can include the following:
- Blurry and dark sections at the center of your vision
- Difficulty recognizing faces
- Distorted visions are causing wrong color perception and objects to appear bent or deformed
- An increasing need for light when reading and increased blurriness of printed text
- Difficulty visually adjusting when you move from a well-lit area to one that’s dimly lit
There are three stages of macular degeneration as follows:
- Early AMD: There is no vision loss. This stage is diagnosed in people with AMD risk factors. Early AMD is characterized by yellow deposit below the retina.
- Intermediate AMD: At this stage, there may be noticeable color changes in the retina, and the yellow deposits beneath it are larger than those in the early stage.
- Late AMD: With late AMD, the patient experiences noticeable vision loss.
Some of the risk factors for macular degeneration include:
- Age: As the name suggests, age is the most significant risk factor for AMD.
- Genetics: People with a family history of AMD are likely to also get it.
- Sex: Women are at a greater risk for developing macular degeneration compared to men.
- Smoking: Smoking and other poor lifestyle choices (such as having high cholesterol, being obese, and consuming saturated fats) can double your risk of developing macular degeneration.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Regular eye tests are necessary to diagnose AMD. The presence of drusen or pigment clumping beneath the retina is an indication of the disease.
The doctor may also show you an Amsler grid to look at. If any of the lines appear wavy, then it can indicate macular degeneration.
If the cause of your AMD is age-related, then the doctor may carry out an angiography or an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) procedure.
With an angiography, the doctor injects dye into a vein in your arm. As the dye reaches and flows through your retina, the doctor uses special equipment to take photographs. The photos will show any new vessels or vessels leaking blood into the macula. With the OCT procedure, the doctor can make the same observations without the use of dye.
Treatment and Management Options
Macular degeneration has no cure. However, there are a few measures you can take to mitigate the progression of the disease. One key step you can take is avoiding smoking, and make sure you have a healthy diet and exercise. You could also protect your eyes from ultra-violet light.
Treatment options for patients may include the following:
- Medications: Drugs prescribed may include ranibizumab (Lucentis), pegaptanib (Macugen), Aflibercept (Eylea), and bevacizumab (Avastin). These are anti-angiogenesis drugs used to inhibit the creation of blood vessels and leaking from the vessels beneath the retina. These drugs are particularly useful for wet macular degeneration and can restore the sight of the patients. However, the patient must take the treatment every time the blood vessels re-occur.
- Laser therapy: This procedure helps destroy abnormal blood vessel growth.
- Photodynamic laser therapy: With this procedure, a doctor injects a light-sensitive drug called verteporfin (Visudyne) into the blood, which is then absorbed into the damaging blood vessels. The doctor then shines a laser into your eye, which destroyed the medication and subsequently damaging the vessels.
- Low vision aids: These are electronic lenses that enlarge the images of things near your vision.
The type of treatment you receive will be based on your individual needs. Always be sure to speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns, and they will help you create the best treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.