Arteries, Capillaries and Veins Arteries – vessels carrying blood away from the heart Capillaries – located at the end of arteries, they are tiny vessels where the exchange of nutrients & Oxygen and waste products between the blood and cells take place Veins – vessels carrying blood returning toward the heart
How do arteries assist the heart in pumping blood? An artery is made of a layer of muscle that can expand and contract. When the heart beats the artery relaxes and the vessel opens, when the heart relaxes the artery contracts and the vessel narrows helping push the blood along.
The wall of the artery is made of muscle that can dilate or constrict to assist in blood flow
Describing a Capillary Capillaries are very thin and fragile. They can be only one cell wide and blood cells line up one at a time pass through. Oxygen, nutrients and wastes are exchanged between blood and body cells through the thin cell walls
Why do veins have valves? Veins have one way valves that open to allow blood to pass through when the heart beats and then close to prevent blood from back sliding when the heart relaxes. This is most important in the legs as the blood is pumped uphill to return to the heart. The valves prevent blood from backsliding due to gravity.
What are Varicose Veins? Varicose veins can develop anywhere but most commonly it occurs in the legs, ankles and feet. It is the enlargement of the vein caused by pooling of blood. They are seen through the skin as blue and sometimes bulging or gnarled.
What causes Varicose Veins? The most common cause of varicose veins occurs as a result of weak one way valves in the vein allowing blood to backslide and pool in the lower parts of the legs.
Are Varicose veins dangerous Usually varicose veins are not dangerous to health. They can itch and burn and could result in skin ulcers from scratching. In more serious cases blood clots can form which can result in serious health conditions.
Treatment of Varicose Veins Exercise helps to reduce the effect of varicose veins by keeping the veins supple. Wearing elastic hose can help the veins keep from enlarging and assist in keeping the valves sealed. Medicines , Surgery or Laser treatments may be needed in severe cases to dissolve and remove the vein.