Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that affects moisture-producing glands. This can lead to several symptoms including dry mouth and dry eyes. Autoimmune diseases involve the body mistaking its cells as foreign invaders. The condition affects 0.1 to 4 percent of people in the U.S., and 90 percent of people with Sjogren’s are women.
Sjogren’s Syndrome is characterized by the body attacking a person’s exocrine glands. These glands are a helpful part of that body that secrete various fluids. Damage to these glands results in the body’s production of saliva and tears decreasing, which results in dry eyes and dry mouth.
Considering the potential for Sjogren’s Syndrome to significantly affect a person’s health, it is very important to understand some of the most important details about the condition.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome
The exact symptoms associated with Sjogren’s Syndrome depend on a variety of factors including the severity of a patient’s condition. The two main symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome are:
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
People are often experiencing the following:
- Blurred vision, light sensitivity and gritty sensations in the eyes
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty swallowing and mouth soreness
- Dry lips, nose, sinuses, and skin
- Muscle pain, joint pain, swelling and stiffness
- Peripheral nerve damages
The Causes of Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s is a serious condition. The specific cause of Sjogren’s Syndrome has not yet been determined. Medical professionals, however, believe that the disease is caused by environmental, genetic, and hormonal factors. In the case of people with healthy immune systems, their immune systems have the ability to recognize their own body as friendly while viewing foreign bodies as harmful.
Sjogren’s Syndrome, however, deprives a person’s body of the ability to distinguish between what is safe and what is harmful. There are two types of Sjogren’s Syndrome including cases where the condition occurs by itself as well as situations in which Sjogren’s Syndrome is associated with other immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, or lupus.
Diagnosing Sjogren’s Syndrome
Diagnosing a person with Sjogren’s Syndrome is particularly challenging. Sometimes, medical professionals take years to diagnose a person with Sjogren’s. Blood tests will measure levels of anti-nuclear antibodies to determine if a person has an autoimmune disorder.
A medical professional might also conduct a test to determine the amount of tears that a person produces. For patients with dry eyes, it is important to receive the assistance of an eye care professional who is able to diagnose the most advanced types of eye conditions.
The Importance of Healthy Tears
Healthy tears contain proteins as well as other elements that are vital for eye health. Some of the reasons for their importance are that tears decrease the chances of infection, lubricating the ocular surface, and supporting your cornea cells.
In many patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome, reduced tear production creates chronic eye conditions. Due to the lack of tears, a person’s eyes protection is no longer sufficient. It can result in serious damage to this person.
The Treatment of Dry Eyes
People who experience dry eyes from Sjogren’s Syndrome often require treatment involving artificial tears or ointments. Artificial tears are particularly helpful because Sjogren’s Syndrome often results in the evaporation of tears.
To reduce pain or inflammation, medical professionals often also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin or ibuprofen and immunosuppressant medications.
Living With Dry Eyes Due to Sjogren’s Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome can create serious irritation that makes it difficult to perform daily tasks. Fortunately, there are some changes that a person can make to their lifestyle to reduce the effects of dry eye syndrome.
- Avoid environmental conditions including drafts, dust, low humidity, or smoke which can increase the severity of dryness.
- If approved by medical professionals, avoid or reduce the amount of any prescription medications that increase the chances of eye irritation, including antihistamines and blood pressure medication.
- Take regular breaks when performing activities that require you to focus — like reading or working at a computer. Consistently performing these tasks can harm a person’s eyes. This is because people tend to blink less when their eyes are focused.
- Place warm compresses on your eyes as this can significantly help to reduce dryness or irritation.
Discover How Cliradex Can Reduce Eye Irritation
Eye irritation from Sjogren’s Syndrome or one of many other diseases can create significant difficulties with your vision. It also impacts your appearance. Many people have discovered that Cliradex products, including towelettes or foam, are particularly helpful at reducing the effects of eye irritation. Our products have also received glowing recommendations from eye care professionals, who have discovered that Cliradex products are highly effective at reducing the signs of eye irritation. One of the things that makes our products stand out from other comparable items is that we use natural ingredients including 4-terpineol.