Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects over 4 million Americans—nine out of 10 of them being women. A common symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome is dry eyes caused by insufficient secretion of tears or an increased occurrence of tears evaporating. Since it is an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the glands that keep the organs moist. Sjogren’s syndrome is often overlooked or misdiagnosed. As a result, it can have damaging effects on your eye health. Read on to learn about the symptoms and treatments for caring for dry eyes caused by Sjogren’s syndrome.
How Sjogren’s Syndrome is Diagnosed
Eye doctors will conduct an array of test to see if you have this condition. Tear frequency and staining tests are common. Sometimes, blood tests are necessary to determine the underlining cause of the syndrome.
Early detection of Sjogren’s syndrome is important. If not treated right away, the lack of moister on the eyes can result in serious damage to the eyes. If you suspect you have Sjogren’s syndrome, look out for these symptoms:
Symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Dry mouth, nose, and eyes
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Recurrent sinus infections of nosebleeds
- Sore mouth and throat
- Dry skin or lips
Treating Sjogren’s Syndrome
The most common symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome is chronic dry eyes. To treat this, eye doctors often prescribe artificial tears and ointments. Eye drops, such as Restasis, are helpful to replenish the tears evaporating from the condition.
Dry eyes are often coupled with meibomian gland dysfunction, MGD, a condition that causes the eyelids to produce an oil causing the eyes to become swollen. An oil-based tear drop helps prevents this from happening.
Doctors pair NSAIDS, anti-inflammatory medications, with eye drops to help reduce pain and swelling. If possible, steer clear of drugs that cause dryness, such as antidepressants and antihistamines.
Take care of your eye health with regular screenings. Be sure to book an appointment with one of our talented eye doctors a Valley Eyecare today. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next session online.