Getting used to wearing compression stockings after varicose vein treatment, or as a form of “conservative” varicose vein therapy, can take a little getting used to. However, once you do, you hardly know they’re on, especially if you actually go into a reputable vein clinic, like Metro Vein Centers, and have them sized perfectly. In fact, many patients grow to love them and prefer to wear them all the time because they make their legs feel better. Hence questions that comes up all the time are, “Can I wear my compression stockings while I sleep?” or “Is it dangerous to wear compression stockings at night?”
The short answer to the common question is “Yes, you can, in most cases, but you should always check with your vein doctor first.” For most patients, it is perfectly safe to wear 20-30 mmHg compression stockings, which are on the lower end of prescription grade compression stockings, or even 30-40 mmHg compression stockings, for most patients. However, there’s a common caveat too. If you are older and or you have arterial insufficiency, it may not be completely safe for you to do so. This is one of the reasons it is very important you always check first with the same doctor who did your varicose vein treatment before you start sleeping in your compression stockings. Chances are it will be okay but there may be serious reasons not to as well.
Your varicose vein treatment doctor may determine it is safer for you to wear a lower pressure compression stocking while you sleep than the one he or she prescribed for you for day usage. Keep in mind that your legs will naturally swell, enlarge, when you are vertical during the day doing your normal routine than at night when you are sleeping horizontally and gravity isn’t pulling so much on your lower body. Your doctor may also change you from a thigh high compression stocking to a knee high compression stocking or vice versa for sleeping purposes. It really depends on your specific case and this is why there is no generic answer to this question that is better than getting the answer straight from your own varicose vein treatment doctor who is most familiar with your case.
If you are pregnant, you should also check with your OB/GYN doctor. Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy and graduated compression stockings are often used to decrease the swelling and pain in the lower extremities that these pregnant women often face. However, one must also be careful not to cut off vital blood supply and ensure no harm comes to the developing fetus. There is similar product called “panty compression hose,” or for a lighter version, “pregnancy panty hose,” that are specifically designed for pregnant women and may be better than ordinary compression stockings. Another trick you can use when pregnant, instead of using compression stockings at night, is to elevate the foot of the bed slightly. In fact, this can help anyone who has venous insufficiency, but as always, it’s best to check first with your vein doctor before you try any new varicose vein treatment, including home therapy that you might think is benign.
There are also always warnings about sleeping with compression stockings once you have recovered from varicose vein treatment. You have to be aware of the signals your body is sending you. If you should feel a sense of tingling, or perhaps numbness, when wearing compression stockings while lying down, you should immediately take them off and speak to your doctor about the effect as soon as possible. It could be that your venous pressure has dropped too low, due to the fact you are now vertical, and this may cause the compression stockings to over compress and push against nerves or arteries causing the unusual sensations. So, bottom line, always listen to your body and make an immediate adjustment if you need to… then, talk to your vein doctor ASAP.
When evaluating questions like, “Can I wear my compression stockings at night when I sleep,” it is best that you are working with vein doctors who have a great deal of experience in this field. A vein clinic like Metro Vein Centers has doctors who have dealt with literally hundreds, if not thousands, of patients who have undergone varicose vein treatment or who need to get varicose vein treatment. This gives the doctors at Metro Vein Centers, and reputable vein centers like it, good insight and their advice will be very valuable.