Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a dangerous blood clot that forms in a deep vein — often without you knowing it. It is dangerous because should the clot break free, it can travel to other parts of your body and lodge in the arteries of the lungs and block the proper flow of blood. This will cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be a life-threatening medical situation.
There are many myths surrounding DVT, and it is important that you understand the truth behind these myths — especially if you are in a group that may be more susceptible to DVTs. Here’s a look at some of the myths and the actual facts about DVT.
Myth: If you are healthy and young, you are not at risk for DVTs.
Fact: It is true that older people do have a slightly higher risk, but DVTs can happen at any age.
Myth: There is nothing you can do to stop a DVT from forming.
Fact: There are factors that make you more susceptible to DVTs including smoking, obesity, dehydration, immobility, and taking birth control pills. To reduce your chances of a DVT stay healthy, quit smoking, and drink plenty of water.
Myth: You will know you have a DVT if you have pain in your thigh or leg.
: Almost half of the people with a DVT have no symptoms. The most common symptom of a DVT is swelling. While many will feel pain, there are many reasons for leg pain without swelling. Other symptoms that can occur include lower back pain in the pelvic region. If you are experiencing pain and/or swelling and suspect it may be caused by DVT, you should seek immediate medical treatment to diagnose the possibility of a clot.
Myth: There is only one way to combat “economy class syndrome” and that is to only fly first class.
Fact: Flight-related clots are most often associated with the size of the airplane seat and/or the altitude. However, it is really about making sure you move your legs during a flight. In fact, blood clots occurring during flight are quite rare. During long flights, and even during long periods of sitting at your desk, you should engage your legs in seated leg exercises, as well as getting up every once in a while to walk.
Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center said, “It is very important to understand the facts surrounding DVT. This will help reduce the risk of developing DVT, as well as recognizing the symptoms, so you can receive treatment to avoid dangerous complications.”