Juvenile arthritis is used to describe arthritis in children aged 16 or younger. The disease is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system that normally protects the body from foreign and harmful microorganisms attacks healthy body cells and tissues instead.
The cause of the disease is not known but it is believed it may be related to certain infections, genetics and environmental triggers.
What are the symptoms of the condition?
There are different types of juvenile arthritis and each of them has its own signs and symptoms. Generally, some of the symptoms a child with the disease may experience include:
- Joint swelling
- Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
- Persistent fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Eye redness or pain
In most children, there are times when these symptoms get better or disappear, and other times when they get worse.
Can it be treated?
Although there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, it can be treated successfully. Early diagnosis is very important in the treatment outcomes of the disease. With early detection and treatment, a child can be expected to live a normal life.
The purpose of treatment is to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and improve a child’s quality of life. Treatment generally includes both medications and exercise.