Symptoms of sarcoidosis

Your symptoms depend on what part of your body is affected. They can include:

  • feeling short of breath
  • a cough which is often dry
  • tiredness and feeling ill
  • red or sore eyes
  • painful red lumps on your shins
  • swollen glands in your face, neck, armpits or groin
  • rashes – usually on your upper body
  • painful joints, bones and muscles
  • an abnormal heart rhythm
  • sweats

Acute sarcoidosis

In some cases, symptoms come on suddenly, but don’t last very long. This is called acute sarcoidosis. Common symptoms of acute sarcoidosis are swollen glands, fever, tiredness, joint pains and lumps or rashes on the legs.

Chronic sarcoidosis

If your symptoms develop gradually and last longer, this is called chronic sarcoidosis. This means that the condition is long term. People with long-term sarcoidosis often have fewer symptoms, but the symptoms can get worse over time.

Are there always symptoms?

Some people don’t experience any symptoms. In this case, you may only discover you have sarcoidosis if you have a chest X-ray for another reason.

Next: Diagnosing sarcoidosis >


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Last medically reviewed: January 2017. Due for review: January 2020

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.