Relapsing Polychondritis

Understanding Relapsing Polychondritis

Relapsing polychondritis is a rare autoimmune disorder of the connective tissue. It causes inflammation of the cartilage and other tissues of the body, such as the eyes, nose, ears, and joints. This disorder can affect people of all ages, but is most common in people aged 50-60.

The cause of relapsing polychondritis is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an autoimmune disease. This causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues. It can also be triggered by an infection or a reaction to certain medications.

Symptoms of relapsing polychondritis can vary from person to person, but typically include:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Eyes that are reddened, irritated, and watery
  • Pain and tenderness in the ears
  • Swollen nose and/or lips

If left untreated, relapsing polychondritis can damage the cartilage of the body parts it affects. This can lead to deformation of the nose, ears, or other areas, as well as serious respiratory problems.

Treatments for relapsing polychondritis can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Medications such as prednisone and immune system-modifying drugs are used to reduce inflammation and control damage to the cartilage. Surgery may also be necessary to repair any damage that has already occurred.

With proper treatment, relapsing polychondritis can be managed. It is important for people with this condition to be monitored closely and to follow their treatment plan to prevent further damage to their body.