Sarcoidosis: When to seek medical advice?

By  , Expert Content
Jan 17, 2013

Sarcoidosis is a serious condition that can affect one or more organs in the body. It causes inflammation, which results in formation of abnormal lumps or nodules (called granulomas) in one or more organs of the body. Symptoms of sarcoidosis can vary greatly from mild to serious and depend on the organ/organs that are affected. Many people may not even be aware that they have sarcoidosis and it may be accidentally diagnosed when chest X-ray is done for some other symptom.

Consult a doctor if you have any of the following problems suggestive of some serious medical condition:

  • Fever, fatigue, weight loss, night sweats and an overall feeling of malaise (or ill health), which lasts for more than a few days.
  • Persistent cough (cough that does not go away), shortness of breath (increased with exertion) and chest pain.
  • Increase in size of lymph glands anywhere in the body.
  • Muscle weakness or pain in ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, hands and feet.
  • Painful or red, raised  bumps on the legs or arms (called erythema nodosum), discoloration of the nose, cheeks, lips and ears (called lupus pernio) or small brownish and painless skin patches.
  • Neurological symptoms such as headaches, visual problems, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg and facial palsy.

These are some symptoms suggestive of sarcoidosis. If, however, you have one or more of the above mentioned problems, it does not mean that you have sarcoidosis. Similar symptoms can be caused in many other medical conditions. Your doctor can examine you and diagnose the cause of your symptoms.


When to consult if you have sarcoidosis

Many people with sarcoidosis can have eye involvement without any significant symptoms. If you have sarcoidosis, get your eyes checked by a professional. Some symptoms of eye involvement in sarcoidosis include:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Eye pain.
  • Severe redness.
  • Sensitivity to light.

As sarcoidosis can cause blindness, consult your doctor promptly if you experience blurred vision, eye pain or extreme sensitivity to light.

Other symptoms for which you should consult your doctor immediately include:

  • Neurological symptoms such as weakness or numbness of an arm or leg and facial palsy.
  • Increase in shortness of breath, chest pain etc.


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