Why Are the Valves in My Veins Becoming Damaged?

The answer to this question is complex and the subject of continuing research.  It is known that iron from hemoglobin leaches out of the bloodstream into the valve tissues.  Enzymes in the tissues begin to break down the iron deposits and actually damage the valves too.  As the valves are gradually damaged, more blood leaks around the valves leading to higher pressures at the valves below and blood is forced into those valves.  the process snowballs as more valves down the vein are damaged.

This process usually takes many years to develop; however, leg trauma or heavy exercise can result in sudden injury to the valves.

Once damaged, the valves do not repair themselves.  Experimental surgical procedures are being developed to create new valves but this process is only used for damage in the deep veins, not the superficial veins.