Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder of your immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth.
The condition often accompanies other immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. In Sjogren’s syndrome, the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth are usually affected first — resulting in decreased tears and saliva.
2 main symptoms are :
• Dry eyes
• Dry mouth
Some people with Sjogren’s syndrome also have one or more of the following:
• Joint pain, swelling and stiffness
• Swollen salivary glands — particularly the set located behind your jaw and in front of your ears
• Skin rashes or dry skin
• Vaginal dryness
• Persistent dry cough
• Prolonged fatigue
Treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome depends on the parts of the body affected.
• Decrease eye inflammation. Prescription eyedrops such as cyclosporine may be recommended by your eye doctor if you have moderate to severe dry eyes.
• Increase production of saliva. Drugs such as pilocarpine and cevimeline can increase the production of saliva, and sometimes tears. Side effects can include sweating, abdominal pain, flushing and increased urination.
• Address specific complications. If you develop arthritis symptoms, you might benefit from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other arthritis medications. Yeast infections in the mouth should be treated with antifungal medications.
• Treat system wide symptoms. Hydroxychloroquine, a drug designed to treat malaria, is often helpful in treating Sjogren’s syndrome. Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate also might be prescribed.