Sunday, July 23, 2017 is World Sjogren’s Day. The body’s immune system targets the moisture producing glands of your eye and mouth with Sjogren’s syndrome. It attacks the tear glands leading to Dry Eyes where your eyes may burn, itch, be red or feel gritty. Dry Eyes may cause wearing contact lenses to be difficult and there may be discomfort reading, working on the computer or any activity that requires sustained visual attention. It also attacks the salivary glands leading to Dry Mouth where you mouth feel like it is full of cotton, making it difficult to swallow or speak.
In addition to attacking the glands involved with tear production and the salivary glands, Sjogren’s can also cause joint swelling and stiffness; skin rashes or dry skin; vaginal dryness; numbness and tingling in the arms and legs; persistent dry cough as well as prolonged fatigue.
Although you can develop Sjogren’s syndrome at any age, it is more common to occur with women over 40. The exact cause of Sjogren’s is not know it is though to be a combination of genes and perhaps exposure to something like a virus or bacteria.
There is no cure for Sjogren’s, but doctors treat the symptoms. In the case of Dry Eye there are many new treatment for it. This includes artificial tears, ointments, medicines to reduce inflammation, and other newer medicines and treatments.
If you suspect you might have Sjorgen’s go to your primary care physician, your dentist for Dry Mouth and come to Bright Eyes Vision (267-485-1414) for the treatment of your Dry Eyes.