Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the glands that provide moisture to the body (tears, saliva, etc). Individuals who have this disease have difficulty with producing tears and saliva. In rare cases, this illness can affect the kidneys and lungs. Doctors are still uncertain as to what causes this disease, but they do know that it runs in families. People who have Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and/ or Scleroderma are at risk of developing Sjogren's. While anyone can develop Sjogren's, it is more likely to develop in Caucasian women between the ages of 40 and 50.
Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome
-Very dry mouth
-Very dry eyes
-Itching and burning in the eyes.
How is Sjogren's Syndrome diagnosed?
Your doctor will conduct a physical examination, and ask questions about your symptoms. Your doctor may ask about any medications you have been taking, just to rule out other causes for the symptoms. After examination, your doctor may test your tear flow and saliva. A blood test may also be ordered to help the doctor make a definitive diagnosis.
How is Sjogren's Syndrome treated?
The type of treatment may vary based on the severity of symptoms. However, the most common treatments are:
-Steroid meds for joint pain
If the above symptoms last 3 months or longer, contact your doctor immediately.