Phlebitis is a condition where a vein becomes inflamed. Treatment options exist but preventative measures can keep you from developing the ailment in the first place.
Thrombophlebitis, which usually occurs in the legs, is due to one or more blood clots in a vein that cause inflammation. Phlebitis can present in two ways: Superficial phlebitis, which is usually not a serious condition, affects veins on the skin’s surface. With proper care it can resolve quickly. Deep vein thrombophlebitis is a potentially serious condition that affects large blood vessels deeper in the leg. Large blood cots can form, break off and travel to the lungs, causing a dangerous condition called a pulmonary embolism.
Your lifestyle choices and habits may significantly increase your chances of developing phlebitis. Risk factors include:
- Prolonged inactivity – Staying in or sitting for many hours slows bloodflow from the legs.
- Lack of exercise
At-home treatments like over-the-counter pain medications, increased walking and compression stockings can treat superficial phlebitis. Deep vein thrombophlebitis requires immediate medical attention. Go to the hospital emergency room if you show the following symptoms:
- High fever combined with symptoms in arms or legs
- Lumps in the leg or severe pain and swelling in arms or legs
- Unexplained shortness of breath
You may require a hospital stay if you are diagnosed with deep vein thrombophlebitis to ensure diagnosis and watch for possible complications.