Dry Eye and Sjögren’s Syndrome
Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that typically causes uncomfortable dryness in the eyes. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Sjögren’s disease currently, but there are steps you can take to treat its symptoms. An artificial tear helps provide moisture and relief from dry eye. For more information about Sjögren’s, talk to your doctor or visit sjogrens.org.
Sjögren’s Syndrome Quick Facts
- Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) Syndrome occurs when the body’s white blood cells mistakenly attack moisture-producing glands, causing inflammation and a significant reduction in the quantity and quality of the moisture they can produce.
- Sjögren’s disease affects as many as 4 million Americans, 90% of them women.
- The typical age of onset for Sjögren’s disease is generally in the late 40s, although it can strike at any age.
- Although Sjögren’s disease is one of the most common autoimmune disorders, it often goes unrecognized, as its symptoms are frequently diagnosed and treated separately.
- The hallmark sign of Sjögren’s Syndrome is severe dry eye, but symptoms can also include dryness of the mouth, joint pain, and fatigue.
- Although dry eye usually results from decreased production of tears, or tears that don’t stay on the eye as long as they should, Sjögren’s disease eye dryness can actually be caused by both factors, making it much more severe in some cases.
- There is no cure for Sjögren’s disease, but its symptoms are generally treatable.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
If you think you may have Sjögren’s Syndrome, it’s best to see your doctor for proper diagnosis. Sjögren’s disease can lead to complications, so early diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial. Sjögren’s disease may be difficult to recognize, so make sure your doctor is familiar with the condition. Also, don’t forget to point out any and all symptoms, as well as any medications you may be taking.
The Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation
For more than 25 years, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation has been dedicated to improving the lives of patients with Sjögren’s disease – increasing awareness, providing education, and advocating research for a cure. SYSTANE® is a proud supporter of the Foundation and encourages you to learn more and get involved.
For more information about Sjögren’s disease, or to become a member of the Foundation, visit sjogrens.org.