How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Lungs
Prevention of Respiratory Issues
Because of the high risk of complications due to rheumatoid arthritis–associated lung disease, prevention is key. To help reduce your risk:
- Don’t smoke. If you do, ask your doctor for suggestions about how to quit smoking immediately. Chemicals found in cigarettes can irritate already delicate lung tissue, leading to further complications.
- Have regular checkups. Your doctor should listen to your lungs and monitor your breathing at each visit. Lung problems that are detected early can be easier to treat.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and are experiencing shortness of breath, coughing, or other respiratory symptoms, talk to your doctor. These are potentially serious symptoms that warrant prompt attention.