Tiny nodules of sarcoidosis can develop in many different parts of your body, but the condition most often affects your lungs. At Healing Lungs in Conroe, Texas, pulmonologist Raees Ahmed, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating this complex condition, providing close monitoring of your health and personalized treatment to relieve your symptoms. To prevent lung and heart complications, call the office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
Sarcoidosis occurs when inflammation causes an accumulation of cells to form into small lumps called granulomas. These lumps most often affect your lungs, a condition called pulmonary sarcoidosis. But they can also develop in your skin, eyes, heart, joints, and many other organs and body systems.
Sometimes the granulomas heal without treatment, but if they don’t, they cause inflammation and scarring. As a result, the affected tissues in your lungs become stiff and can’t function properly.
You may inherit a genetic tendency to develop sarcoidosis. Your risk for the disease may be higher if you’re frequently exposed to environmental substances that cause inflammation, such as mold or insecticides. Otherwise, the cause of sarcoidosis remains unknown.
Sarcoidosis may lead to complications such as:
Pulmonary hypertension occurs when you have high blood pressure in the arteries serving your lungs. Severe pulmonary hypertension leads to serious problems such as blood clots or bleeding in your lungs, an irregular heartbeat, and heart failure.
When inflammation and scarring affect the air sacs in your lungs, you have a condition called interstitial lung disease. This condition damages the air sacs, preventing them from sending oxygen from your lungs into your bloodstream.
When sarcoidosis affects your lungs, you experience symptoms such as:
If other parts of your body are affected, you may develop skin rashes or lumps, blurry vision, joint pain, eye pain, or an irregular heartbeat, to name only a few of the possible symptoms.
Nearly two-thirds of patients with sarcoidosis go into remission. However, the disease becomes chronic and gets progressively worse for 10-30% of patients. Early treatment improves your chances of remission.
If your symptoms are mild, you may not need active treatment. In that case, Dr. Ahmed carefully monitors your symptoms and the condition of your lungs with lung function tests and chest X-rays. Dr. Ahmed can start your treatment as soon as your condition warrants medication.
Prescription medications to reduce inflammation are the cornerstone of treatment. Dr. Ahmed may prescribe corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) when your sarcoidosis is too severe to respond to corticosteroids.
If you need expert treatment for sarcoidosis, call Healing Lungs or schedule an appointment online today.