Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Crisis

Sickle cell anemia’s signs and symptoms usually show around five months of a person.

Note that it varies from every person, and this can be affected over time. The signs and symptoms include:

Vision Problems 

The tiny blood vessels are essential in your eyes as their role is to supply blood. But when it is affected by the sickle cells, it will become plugged.

This will surely damage the eye’s portion is the processor of visual images, the retina. Then this will lead to worse – vision problems. 

Delayed Puberty of Growth 

Your body needs nutrients and oxygen because this is necessary for your growth, and the blood cells are the ones that provide those.

When there is a shortage of healthy blood cells on the children, especially on the infants, it can lead them to slow growth.

Then in their teenage year, it will be the cause of their delayed puberty.

Swelling of Feet and Hands

The sickle-shaped red blood cells can be caused by swelling that used to block the blood flow on the feet and hands.

Frequent Infections

The sickle cells are one of the reasons for damage spleen. This leads you to be more vulnerable to infections.

Usually, doctors give children, especially infants, with antibiotics and vaccinations for sickle cell anemia. This is a new way to prevent potential diseases that can threaten one’s life, like pneumonia.

Episodes of pain

There will be periodic episodes of different pain known as pain crises. These are the significant sickle cell anemia symptoms.

When the red blood cells that are sickle-shaped block the blood flow of the tiny blood vessels to the abdomen, joints, and chest, this can develop pain.

Thus, pain also can occur in your bones.

Some individuals can experience a few pain once a year. Yet, few are also experiencing it for hours and even weeks.

Thus, pain can vary on intensity. But when a person already feels severe pain, then it is required to go to the hospital for treatments.

Some adults and adolescents that have sickle cell anemia can experience chronic pain. This results in joint and bone damage, some ulcer, and more causes.


The sickle cells tend to break apart and die quickly. Then it will leave you with many red blood cells. This typically lives for 120 days and then will be replaced.

Yet, sickle cells can die in the span of 10 to 20 days and can leave you with a lack of red blood cells or what we call anemia.

According to the WebMD:

The typical sign of the sickle cell crisis is pain that can be stabbing, sharp, throbbing, and dull, and like it is from nowhere.

Yet, some have severe symptoms of this crisis, and it varies from person to person. 

You can feel the pain anywhere in your body, but here is the list of often parts that you can feel the pain:

  • Belly
  • Chest
  • Arms and legs
  • Lower back
  • Feet and Hands

You might also experience the following: 

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Jaundice or yellowish color of skin
  • Dizziness or headache
  • For males, painful erections
  • Breathing problems
  • The hard time or weakness of moving your body parts

Many doctors recommend having early prevention when this crisis hits you. It is better to check your doctor first before taking medicines or other aids that you know can do something about what you feel.

Be mindful that sickle cells can hit anyone, especially the younger ones.

To prevent a crisis from happening, you need to avoid a lot of things. One of these is to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Thus, avoid people who are sick. 

It is better to wash hands often and keep doing your exercise.