Dry eyes are one of the most common symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Dry eyes can lead to discomfort, blurred vision, and visual fatigue if not attended to immediately.
For people with the immune system disorder, tear-secreting glands’ inflammation reduces tear production, resulting in chronic dry eye. Changes in the composition of tears also can contribute to dry eye.
Tips for dry eyes in Sjogren’s syndrome.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your eyes remain moist throughout the day.
Blink at least five to six times a minute to keep the eye surface clean and moist. While blinking occurs involuntarily, you may have to voluntarily blink more often when you have dry eyes.
2. Rest your eyes
Your eyes need rest, especially when they run the risk of becoming dry. Take a break at regular intervals when reading or working on a computer and close your eyes for some time.
3. Protect your eyes
Harsh light or particulate matter in the air can compound eye irritation. Wear sunglasses to minimize light intensity falling on the eye and reduce tear evaporation due to airflow. You may also consider wearing moisture chamber glasses to add moisture to your eyes. If you are taking a rest or in a dry environment for extended periods, place a wet cloth over your eyes to protect them.
4. Consider using artificial tears or punctal plugs.
Artificial tears mimic the composition of natural tears and are available over the counter. Artificial tears can be used to mild eye dryness. It is recommended to use artificial tears before bedtime and in the morning before heading outside. People who frequently use drops should choose a brand without preservatives or one with special non-irritating preservatives.
Your eye doctor may recommend using punctal plugs, which are small silicone plugs inserted into the eyelid openings from where the tears normally drain. This helps in retaining tears on the eye for a longer period.
Blepharitis, commonly seen in Sjogren’s syndrome patients, is the eyelids’ inflammation, resulting in redness, swelling, and itching. It can usually be treated by regularly washing the eyes with water or by using warm compresses and massaging the eyelids.
6. Be careful while applying makeup.
Do not apply mascara, eyeliners, or eyeshadows under the eyelashes closer to the eye. If using mascara, apply near the tips of the eyelashes.
7. Check with your doctor before using medications.
Prescription medications such as Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion), Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution), and Lacrisert (hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert) help in providing relief for peoples with severe dry eye symptoms. However, they must be used only after consultation with an ophthalmologist.
– This formula is designed to restore and revive your own tear glands to produce balanced tears all day long. Not an eye drop. TheraLife has many successful stories from people with various autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
To learn more, click here.
What is Sjögren’s syndrome?
Sjögren’s syndrome is an inflammatory disease that can affect many different parts of the body, but most often affects the tear and saliva glands. Patients with this condition may notice irritation, a gritty feeling, or painful burning in the eyes. Dry mouth (or difficulty eating dry foods) and swelling of the glands around the face and neck are also common. Some patients experience dryness in the nasal passages, throat, vagina, and skin. Swallowing difficulty and symptoms of acid reflux are also common.
“Primary” Sjögren’s syndrome occurs in people with no other rheumatic disease. “Secondary” Sjögren’s occurs in people who have another rheumatologic disease. Such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. It can occasionally be confused with a newly described syndrome call IGG4 disease.
Most of the complications of Sjögren’s syndrome occur because of decreased tears and saliva. Patients with dry eyes are at increased risk for infections around the eye and may damage the cornea. A dry mouth may cause an increase in dental decay, gingivitis (gum inflammation), an oral yeast infection (thrush) that may cause pain and burning. Some patients have episodes of painful swelling in the saliva glands around the face.
Complications in other parts of the body can occur. Pain and stiffness in the joints with mild swelling may occur in some patients, even in those without rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Rashes on the arms and legs related to inflammation in small blood vessels (vasculitis) and inflammation in the lungs, liver, and kidney may occur rarely and be challenging to diagnose. Numbness, tingling, and weakness also have been described in some patients. The parotid gland is at the jaw’s edge and can become swollen and inflamed in some people with Sjögren’s Syndrome.
Symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome
The following symptoms are indicators of Sjögren’s.
- Daily, persistent, troublesome dry eyes for more than 3 months
- The recurrent sensation of sand or gravel in the eyes
- Use of tear substitutes more than 3 times a day.
- The daily feeling of dry mouth for more than 3 months
- Frequently drink liquids to aid in the swallowing of dry food.
- Dental cavities
- Fevers, night sweats, swollen salivary glands and lymph nodes, joint pain, chronic cough, inflammation of lungs, nerves, blood vessels, and bladder, and ovarian failure
- Lab tests with a positive anti-SSA/anti-SSB, low white blood cell count, elevated IgG, or monoclonal antibody
Fast Facts about Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition that can occur at any age but is most common in older women. Many patients develop Sjögren’s syndrome due to another autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
- Symptoms vary in type and intensity, but many people with Sjögren’s can live normal lives.
- Most of the treatment for Sjögren’s syndrome aims to relieve symptoms of dry eyes and mouth and prevent and treat long-term complications such as infection and dental disease. Treatments often do not entirely eliminate the symptoms of dryness.
- Most patients with Sjögren’s syndrome remain healthy. Still, some rare complications have been described, including an increased risk for cancer of the lymph glands (lymphoma). Thus, regular medical care and follow up is vital for all patients.
- Between 400,000 and 3.1 million adults have Sjögren’s syndrome. This condition can affect people of any age, but symptoms usually appear between 45 and 55. It involves ten times as many women as men. About half of patients also have rheumatoid arthritis or other connective tissue diseases, such as lupus.
- In the early 1900s, Swedish physician Henrik Sjögren (SHOW-gren) first described a group of women whose chronic arthritis was accompanied by dry eyes and dry mouth. Today, rheumatologistsknow more about the syndrome that is named for Sjögren and—most significantly for patients—can offer advice about how to live with it.
How TheraLife can help
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