It is a disease in which more is unknown about it than what is known. It is called Sarcoidosis, and five years ago, it forced Carolyn Myers into early reitrement.
"I was falling down stairs. I was running into walls. I couldn't talk to anybody. I knew what I wanted to say, it wouldn't come out and then one morning I woke up in January and I couldn't see out of my left eye. There was no pain involved. I just couldn't see anything," says Carolyn.
Doctors thought at first it was Multiple Sclerosis or a stroke, but eventuallly, they discovered she had Sarcoidosis, a disease that causes massive inflammation. It commonly attacks the lungs causing a dry cough and shortness of breath. It can also affect the eyes, brain, internal organs and can cause blindness, seizures, paralysis, pain and lesions.
"It's not a disease where you feel great one day and bad the next day. This inflammation is a very slowly progressive type of inflammation," says Dr. David Moller of Johns Hopkins University.
Doctors don't know what causes Sarcoidosis or how to cure it, but the National Institutes of Health estimates it may affect as many as one in every 2,000 Americans. People who don't know they have it because it is so often misdiagnosed, but Sarcoidosis can be diagnosed through lab tests and x-rays and steroids can often treat the symptoms.
If you would like more information on Sarcoidosis, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has pictures and easy to understand explanations. For more information (click here).