Most people are aware that arthritis targets the joints and causes swelling and pain. But did you know that aside from this, other parts of the body like the skin and eyes can also be affected? Let’s take a look at what exactly arthritis is and the different ways it can affect your body.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is essentially inflammation of the joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and each has slightly different causes, symptoms, and treatments. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis causes inflammation or deterioration of the joints. The bones that meet at joints of the body no longer glide against each other without problems. This can cause a lot of pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion, weakness, and eventual deterioration of the joint.
Arthritis is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time. The first sign of arthritis is pain in one or two joints of the body. This pain may happen after prolonged physical activity and subsides after some rest. However, over time, the pain will come more often and symptoms will progressively get worse.
Eventually, you may feel symptoms of arthritis in the affected joints on a more regular basis. You may also have more joints of the body be affected by the condition. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can manage your arthritis. A qualified doctor can help diagnose and manage your condition with state-of-the-art treatments that include medications, injections, therapies, other treatments, or surgery.
Arthritis can affect other parts of the body, as well. Below are some other things that can happen in your body if you have arthritis. Make sure to tell your doctor if you experience other health issues to determine if they are related to your arthritis condition.
Skin, Eyes, and Mouth Issues
One common symptom of arthritis is dryness. Dry eyes can be a nuisance and require you to use eye drops. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, dry eyes increase your risk of serious issues such as infections and damage to the cornea.
Dry eyes are also a symptom of an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome. This condition is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and causes the body to attack glands that produce tears and saliva, causing dry mouth, eyes, and skin.
A dry mouth can cause tooth decay, infections, and gingivitis. It’s important to get your dentist to frequently check your mouth and teeth for any issues.
Chronic inflammation from arthritis may result in the loss of bone density—not only in the areas of the joints but across the whole body. Once bone density decreases, you are more prone to fractures and other bone injuries.
Arthritis can also cause inflammation in the lungs. This typically happens as arthritis progresses. Inflammation in the lungs can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and increased coughing.
Arthritis can also cause issues that make the movement of blood throughout your body difficult. Arthritis can also increase your risk of anemia because of a decrease in red blood cell production. The decrease in red blood cells may also increase your risk of blocked arteries.
Arthritis Care in Washington and Oregon
If you have arthritis, it’s important to understand that it is a manageable condition. By working with a qualified and experienced doctor, you can control your arthritis and the affects it has on your body. At Lynx Healthcare, we treat patients with arthritis on a regular basis. Our goal is to provide the highest quality service to our patients through our comprehensive and advanced medical approach. Make an appointment today by calling (509) 591-0070 or request an appointment now.