We think of arthritis as a problem among the elderly, but it's estimated that 300,000 children in this country suffer from juvenile arthritis. This actually refers to a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that develop in kids and teens. The most common symptoms include muscle and soft tissue tightening, joint pain, and changes in growth patterns. Early diagnosis is critical because juvenile arthritis can move on to attack other areas...even the eyes.
Dr. Sheila Angeles-Han said, "The most important thing is to prevent progression of the arthritis so that you don't have damage down the line. Ongoing eye inflammation can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, visual loss, and even blindness."
There are lots of treatments to help reduce the inflammation. Although every case is different, one common prescription might surprise you, and that's exercise. Doctors say staying active is key to flexibility, so joints don't become stiff.
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