Cardiovascular Institute of the South is hosting a free vein screening from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the CIS Zachary clinic, 6550 Main St., Suite 1000.

About 15 percent of people in America have venous disease, caused by diseased or abnormal veins, and at CIS, trained physicians diagnose and treat venous disease with minimally invasive procedures, resulting in less pain and quicker recoveries for patients, a news release said.

When vein vessels become damaged or weak, blood flows backward, causing the veins to stretch, swell and twist. One of the most common and visible signs of the disease is spider veins, which appear as small, purplish or blue clusters of veins on the leg. Varicose veins are larger, bluish veins that may look enlarged.

Venous disease may not present itself until leg pain or skin problems emerge. Symptoms may include visible varicose or spider veins, swelling or heaviness in legs, leg pain or cramping, discoloration of skin, dry or weeping eczema, or leg ulcers.

The disease can get worse over time due to the pressure created by the backflow of blood in the legs that can lead to additional spider and varicose veins and, in some cases, swelling and venous ulcers and wounds.

If left untreated, venous disease can markedly affect quality of life by reducing a patient’s ability to sleep, walk or sit and stand for long periods of time due to severe symptoms of the legs, the release said.

Even if only spider veins are present, it’s important to consult a vein specialist to determine the problem so it can be treated.

To RSVP for the free screening on Saturday, call CIS Zachary at (225) 654-1559 or visit cardio.com/vein.