Deep vein thrombosis refers to the inflammation of a deep vein and formation of a blood clot or “Thrombus” there. Though the condition of Deep Vein Thrombosis is not life threatening in itself, it can lead to life threatening conditions such as a pulmonary embolism and so deep vein thrombosis symptoms as well as the risk factors for it are important to know about.
The condition may often be difficult to detect since there may be no outward symptoms and often may only be detected when complications occur. Usually a clinical diagnosis of the condition can be made only after using one of various different techniques since a simple physical examination is usually unreliable.
The usual deep vein thrombosis symptoms are –
- Pain and/or tenderness in the area affected by the clot; most typically the leg or calf muscles. In some cases the pain may be felt only when walking or standing up.
- Swelling is another indication of the presence of the blood clot. The entire limb may swell or the swelling may be along the vein.
- A reddish appearance to the skin surface as well as increased warmth in the area may be noted.
- Some symptoms of DVT may mimic those of cellulitis (a bacterial infection of the skin and the tissues below it).
Since deep vein thrombosis symptoms may be absent or difficult to detect, it is important to know about the risk factors associated with developing this condition so that a person can be vigilant about it.
Immobility of a person or any of their limbs is the prime risk factor for DVT. For this reason recent hospital stays or surgeries that have rendered a person immobile for a time may be the most common causes for a person developing DVT.
Other instances of immobility such as flying long distances in cramped aircraft seats can also put a person at risk of DVT. There are also other factors related to air travel such as dehydration that could add to the problem, Because of this deep vein thrombosis is also known as the Economy Class Syndrome.
It isn’t just long haul flights, long journeys by bus, car or train that also render a person immobile for long periods in a seated position can put a person at risk of developing these blood clots.
Certain groups are more at risk
Pregnant women and the elderly are more at risk of developing these kinds of blood clots. Those who have certain serious medical conditions are also seen to be more at risk. There is also a view that certain kinds of athletes are also more at risk of having DVT.
Lifestyle factors can also give rise to DVT
Though deep vein thrombosis symptoms may not be evident, there are lifestyle factors that could predict the condition since they are known to be risk factors. Being overweight and leading sedentary lives, smoking, use of certain medications such as combined hormonal birth control pills and certain kinds of infections, expose a person to greater risk of developing DVT.