Sarcoidosis is a disease that produces a form of inflammation that can affect many of your organs, including your lungs. These clumps of inflammation are known as granulomas. Granulomas are frequently mistaken for tumors, but they are quite different in nature. Unlike cancerous tumors, granulomas are not calcified and they tend to recede on their own after a few days.
In most cases, the inflammation will disappear after a few days, but more severe cases may last for years. These long-lasting cases are a concern because they can lead to permanent scarring of the lung tissue, which is irreversible and causes difficulty breathing.
At the Lung Health Institute, we help treat a variety of lung conditions. Our team of licensed medical professionals and practitioners are passionate about helping patients walk through many forms of lung treatment, including that for sarcoidosis.
Who is at risk of developing sarcoidosis?
Exact causes of sarcoidosis are hard to identify, though it appears to be an overreaction of the immune system in response to a perceived threat. The following have been linked with the development of sarcoidosis.
- Smoking. Tobacco smoke may trigger a threat response from your immune system, resulting in granulomas. Quitting smoking should help reduce your risk for sarcoidosis and many other serious health conditions.
- Working in dusty environments. Coal miners, construction workers and other professionals who are exposed to dust, asbestos, chemicals and other foreign agents are more susceptible to sarcoidosis. If you work in a dusty environment, make sure you have proper safety equipment and follow safety procedures. Rinse excess dust off your skin and change out of dusty clothes after you’re finished working.
- African or Scandinavian Heritage. People of African or Scandinavian descent are genetically more inclined to develop sarcoidosis.
- Women. More cases of sarcoidosis are documented in women than men.
- Ages of 20 – 40. Sarcoidosis tends to be more common among people in their early-to-middle adult years.
Whether you fit one of the above categories or not, if you exhibit the following symptoms, you should seek medical assistance for diagnosis and treatment:
- Dry and wheezy cough
- Tightness of chest
- Shortness of breath
Treatment for sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis itself has no cure, and scarring to lung tissue left by excessive inflammation in severe cases is irreversible. However, medical treatment can help you manage your symptoms and slow down inflammation until the disease recedes.
The Lung Health Institute works hard to develop treatments for patients who need assistance with managing their sarcoidosis symptoms. Our anti-inflammatory initiative helps slow down the progression of inflammation. If you would like to find out how the Lung Health Institute may assist you, please contact one of our patient coordinators today.