Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blood clot (thrombus) forms in a deep vein, often in the lower leg. DVT can also occur in the thigh, the pelvis, and sometimes, the arm. If the clot travels through the bloodstream, it can lodge itself in the lungs, inhibiting blood flow. This is known as pulmonary embolism, and it can be fatal. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of this serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis can occur in almost anyone, but people over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for developing this condition. Keep in mind that deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism may not exhibit symptoms at all. Symptoms of DVT can include:
- Swelling in one or both of the legs
- Pain or tenderness in one or both of the legs
- Skin that is warm to the touch
- Red or discolored skin
- Tired or heavy feelings in the legs
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to call your doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of pulmonary embolism
It’s crucial to seek emergency medical care immediately if you are exhibiting the following warning signs:
- Sudden coughing that brings up blood
- Sharp chest pain
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Severe lightheadedness
Lowering your risk for DVT and PE
You can significantly lower your risk of DVT and PE by abiding by the following practices:
- Take all necessary blood-thinning medication as directed if you have recently had a surgical procedure
- Avoid sitting or laying in bed for long periods of time
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke
- Get regular exercise
For more information on blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism, call the vein specialists at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at 855-591-1357 to schedule an appointment.