In addition to affecting the joints -- its most well-known symptom -- rheumatoid arthritis can also harm the skin, eyes, and heart. This common autoimmune disease causes significant inflammation, swelling, and pain when antibodies attach to the linings of the joints and destroy them. If left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage. Anti-inflammatory prescriptions can help. Depending on the severity, some people benefit from steroid injections to slow down the degeneration of the joints. Surgery may also be an option in some cases of severe rheumatoid arthritis, although more conservative therapies usually suffice.
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