Veins vs. Arteries: What’s the Difference?

Your veins and arteries carry blood to and from your heart to the rest of your body. Without them, your body would not be able to function. They help provide essential nutrients and oxygen to your organs and tissues while carrying away waste. While they work together to keep your body working well, there are a few significant differences between the two.

Differences between veins and arteries

Both veins and arteries are blood vessels, however, there are important differences between how they work and what they do.

Arteries

All blood vessels leading from the heart are called arteries. Arteries are attached directly to the heart and are in charge of taking oxygenated blood (pure blood) away from the heart to fuel the tissues throughout the body. This is true for all arteries except the pulmonary artery, which carries deoxygenated blood back from the lungs. Arteries have thick, elastic, muscular walls and do not contain valves, largely because most blood flows downward with the pull of gravity. They are also located deeper in the skin, which helps prevent a loss of oxygen through the skin’s surface.

Veins

The blood vessels that carry blood from various parts of the body and organs are called veins. All veins, except the pulmonary vein, carry deoxygenated blood (impure blood). By contrast to arteries, veins are thinner and contain valves. The valves are critical for preventing the backflow of blood, which can lead to varicose veins, vein disease or other vein conditions.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of vein disease, contact Total Vein Care at (225) 442-9663 to schedule an annual or semi-annual vein screening. We will treat your painful, unsightly, leg veins quickly and effectively so you can get back to enjoying your life.

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