Sep 27, 2023
Sjogren's syndrome, an immune system disorder, is most frequently characterized by dry mouth and dry eyes.
Along with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the condition usually coexists with other immune system disorders. Sjogren's syndrome often causes first-degree damage to the mucous membranes and glands that exude moisture from your mouth and eyes, resulting in decreased production of saliva and tears.
The majority of Sjogren's syndrome cases are diagnosed in persons over the age of 40, despite the fact that it can appear at any age. Compared to men, women have a substantially higher risk of developing the condition.
The condition known as Sjogren's syndrome is autoimmune. Your body's own cells and tissues are accidentally attacked by your immune system.
The cause of Sjogren's syndrome in certain patients remains unknown to scientists. A triggering mechanism, such as infection with a specific virus or strain of bacteria, appears to be required in addition to certain genes that increase a person's risk of developing the condition.
Your immune system targets the glands that produce saliva and tears first when you have Sjogren's syndrome. However, it can potentially harm other areas of your body, including:
Sjogren's syndrome has two primary symptoms, which are:
Some Sjogren's syndrome sufferers also have one or more of the following conditions:
The majority of patients with Sjogren's syndrome have one or more of the following risk factors:
Sjogren's syndrome can be challenging to diagnose because the signs and symptoms differ from person to person and can resemble those brought on by other disorders. A few Sjogren's disease symptoms and signs can sometimes be mistaken for side effects of certain drugs.
Tests can help diagnose Sjogren's syndrome and help rule out additional medical conditions.
Blood tests may be prescribed by your doctor to look for:
Using a procedure known as the Schirmer tear test, your doctor can determine how dry your eyes are. Your lower eyelid is touched with a small piece of filter paper in order to determine how many tears you are producing.
A specialist in treating eye conditions (ophthalmologist) may also use a slit lamp, a magnification tool, to inspect the surface of your eyes. He or she might inject drops into your eye that help you view corneal damage more clearly.
Your salivary glands can be tested using certain imaging techniques.
Additionally, your doctor might perform a lip biopsy in order to check for inflammatory cell clusters, which may be a sign of Sjogren's syndrome. For this test, a small piece of tissue is taken from the salivary glands in your lip and examined under a microscope.
The affected bodily parts determine how Sjogren's syndrome should be treated. By using over-the-counter eyedrops and drinking more water, many people are able to control the dry eye and dry mouth symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome. However, some people require prescription drugs or even surgery.
Your doctor may recommend drugs that:
Your eyes and mouth are the most typical areas of Sjogren's syndrome problems.
Less frequent issues could have an impact on:
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