Sarcoidosis of the lung means that there are areas of inflammation in the air sacs, or alveoli, of the lungs, according to the American Lung Association. Inflammation can also appear on the bronchi, or air tubes, or the lymph nodes near the lungs.
Sarcoidosis can cause the lungs to become rigid, notes the American Lung Association. When this happens, they are less able to hold air. In severe cases of sarcoidosis, the lung tissue may be scarred. The good news about sarcoidosis is that it's often temporary and heals on its own. In many cases, treatment is not necessary.
The symptoms of pulmonary sarcoidosis are an unproductive cough, shortness of breath and mild chest pain, according to the American Lung Association. Other possible symptoms include fever, unexplained weight loss, weakness and fatigue. Sarcoidosis can be diagnosed through a doctor's examination, lung X-rays or pulmonary function tests. The doctor may also perform a biopsy and have the cells taken from the lung studied in a lab.
If the doctor determines that the sarcoidosis needs to be treated, corticosteroids may be prescribed, notes the American Lung Association. These medications reduce the inflammation in the lungs and help them function properly. Most importantly, the patient may need to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or avoiding dusty areas.