Types of Hemophilia – Hemophilia is a rare blood disorder that prevents the blood from clotting properly. People with hemophilia can bleed long after an injury and risk severe internal bleeding and joint damage. Hemophilia usually gets passed down from parents to children. There is no cure for hemophilia, but treatment can help people with the disorder lead everyday, healthy lives.
People with hemophilia have trouble forming clots because they are missing one of the proteins needed for clotting, factor VIII or factor IX. Hemophilia A is the most common type of disorder, and a deficiency of factor VIII causes it. Hemophilia B, which is less common, is caused by a deficiency of factor IX.
Hemophilia Causes and Diagnosis
Hemophilia causes typically involve family history. Hemophilia usually gets passed down from parents to children. The disorder occurs due to a mutation in the genes that encode factor VIII or factor IX. These proteins are essential for blood clotting, and people with hemophilia do not have enough of them.
In addition, people with specific genetic mutations are at increased risk of developing hemophilia. Finally, lifestyle choices such as smoking and heavy alcohol use can also increase the risk for this disorder.
Hemophilia is typically diagnosed in childhood but can occur later in life. The disorder is usually diagnosed after a person experiences a bleed that does not stop on its own or after they have joint damage from bleeding. To diagnose hemophilia, doctors perform a physical examination and order blood tests. These tests can measure factor VIII or factor IX levels in the blood. They can also look for genetic mutations that are associated with hemophilia.
Types of Hemophilia
There are two main types of hemophilia, type A and type B. Type A is the most common form of the disorder, and a deficiency of factor VIII causes it. People with type A hemophilia typically have less than 1% of the average amount of factor VIII in their blood. Type B hemophilia is less common, and a deficiency of factor IX causes it. People with type B hemophilia typically have less than 1% of the usual amount of factor IX in their blood.
There are also two rarer types of hemophilia, called types C and D. These disorders are caused by deficiencies of other proteins needed for clotting. Types C and D hemophilia are much less common than types A and B.
Hemophilia symptoms typically involve bleeding. People with hemophilia may bleed for a long time after an injury and may have frequent nosebleeds and bleeding from the gums. Hemophilia can also cause joint damage because bleeds in the joints can lead to inflammation and swelling. In severe cases, hemophilia can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.
There are several complications of hemophilia that can occur. One difficulty is called iron overload, which occurs when the body stores too much iron, which can happen because people with hemophilia often need blood transfusions to treat bleeds. Iron overload can damage the liver and heart and cause other problems.
Another complication of hemophilia is called inhibitors. Inhibitors attack factor VIII or factor IX and can develop in people with hemophilia A or B. Inhibitors make it challenging to treat bleeds and can lead to life-threatening ones.
Finally, joint damage is a common complication of hemophilia. Over time, repeated bleeds in the joints can cause damage and pain. In severe cases, joint damage can lead to disability.
There is no cure, but hemophilia treatment can help people with the disorder lead everyday, healthy lives. Treatment typically involves replacing the missing clotting factor with factor VIII or factor IX infusions. These infusions can be given regularly to prevent or treat bleeding that has already occurred. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to treat joint damage from Hemophilia.
Hemophilia treatments have come a long way in recent years. New therapies can help people with hemophilia live longer, healthier lives. With proper treatment, people with hemophilia can expect to live average life spans and enjoy good health.
People with hemophilia must be careful to avoid injuries that could cause bleeding. They should also take measures to prevent infections, which can be particularly dangerous for people with hemophilia. With proper care, people with hemophilia can enjoy long, healthy lives.