What symptoms do you experience with your relapsing polychondritis?
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What are symptoms and signs of relapsing polychondritis?
Typically, relapsing polychondritis causes sudden pain in the
inflamed tissue at the onset of the disease. Common symptoms are
pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness in one or both ears, the
nose, throat, joints, and/or eyes. The lobe of the ear is not involved. Fever, fatigue, and weight loss often develop.
Inflammation of the ears and nose can cause deformity (saddle nose
deformity and floppy ears) from weakened cartilage. Impaired hearing,
balance, and nausea can be caused by inner ear inflammation.
Inflammation of the windpipe or trachea can lead to
hoarseness, and breathing difficulty. This is a potentially
dangerous area of inflammation in patients with relapsing
polychondritis and can require assisted breathing methods when
Joint inflammation (arthritis) can cause pain, swelling, and
stiffness of the joints, including of the hands, knees, ankles,
wrists, and feet.
Eye inflammation can be mild or severe and can damage vision.
Cataracts can be caused by the inflammation or from the cortisone
used to treat relapsing polychondritis (see below).
Other tissues that can develop inflammation include the aorta (which
can lead to aneurysm or aortic valve weakness), tissues in or around
the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis), the skin (vasculitis), and
the nerves from the brain (cranial nerve palsies).