Sarcoidosis is a rare and complex disease. But experts at UVA Health know it well. We collaborate closely to give you top sarcoidosis treatment. Because this condition can scar the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis), you'll have a pulmonary expert to guide your care.
Sarcoidosis Treatment at UVA Health
At UVA Health, you'll find experts who've dedicated their careers to the urgent need of improving sarcoidosis treatment. We work to better understand the disease to bring new treatments for patients living with sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis.
Because of our commitment, we have a sarcoidosis clinic recognized by the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research Center and World Association for Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders.
Our specialists work well as a team. This means you'll get comprehensive care that's as convenient as possible.
We'll help ease symptoms and minimize permanent problems. Sarcoidosis treatment involves:
You need regular medical and eye exams to look for symptoms and complications of sarcoidosis.
Your doctor may prescribe:
- Steroids to decrease inflammation
- Methotrexate or azathioprine, if you do not respond to steroids
- Hydroxychloroquine to treat skin problems
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat musculoskeletal symptoms
- Pulmonary rehabilitation programs to improve lung function
- Topical steroids to treat rashes
- Eye drops to treat mild eye problems
To help minimize your symptoms:
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to quit
- Avoid exposure to dust and chemicals
- Tell your doctor right away if any symptoms develop or worsen
What Causes Sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that may affect many different parts of the body. Small round spots, called granulomas, form in various organs, slowing their functioning.
We don't know the cause of sarcoidosis. We think it may be related to a breakdown of the immune system. This is possibly triggered by an infection or exposure to a toxin in the environment.
Genetic factors may play a part, as well as these factors:
- Age: 20 to 40
- Sex: female
- Ethnic descent: African-American, Northern European, Scandinavian, Irish
Symptoms vary and can occur in different parts of the body, depending on where the granulomas form. Most symptoms develop in the lungs, skin, eyes and liver. Multiple body systems may be affected. Symptoms may come and go. This disease is often acute, but in some people, it is chronic.
Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Pain or irritation of eyes
- Fatigue, especially with exertion
- Muscle weakness
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Difficulty hearing
- Blurred vision or blindness
- Poor coordination
- Trouble walking
- Irregular heart rate
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints
- Facial paralysis known as Bell's Palsy
How Is It Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose sarcoidosis based on symptoms and medical tests like blood and urine tests, x-rays and CT scans.
We may also test heart and lung function.
We are experts in diagnosing sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis. This is important so you get the best sarcoidosis treatment.