The Connection Between Sjogren’s Syndrome & Dry Eyes
It’s an almost certainty that at some point in your life, you will experience dry eyes. Dry eyes can develop for several reasons, including spending too much time using digital devices, or you may experience a mild form of dry eyes due to dry climate or air conditioning. Dry eyes can make your eyes gritty, burning, and impact your vision and trigger a sensitivity to light. However, did you know that if you have chronic dry eyes partnered with dry mouth, there is a possibility that you could have a condition known as Sjogren’s Syndrome?
What is Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Sjogren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. When a person has an autoimmune disorder, their immune system inadvertently attacks healthy cells in their body. There are several different autoimmune disorders. However, the most common symptoms associated with Sjogren’s Syndrome are dry eyes and dry mouth. When a person develops Sjogren’s Syndrome, their moisture-secreting glands and mucous membranes are often affected first, resulting in decreased tear and saliva production. One of the cunning aspects of Sjogren’s Syndrome is that it can develop at any age, and many people are over the age of 40 by the time it’s diagnosed. Sjogren’s Syndrome is also much more common in women. Many other symptoms are associated with Sjogren’s Syndrome other than dry eyes and dry mouth, such as:
- Skin rashes and dry skin
- Prolonged fatigue
- Joint pain, stiffness or swelling
- Swollen salivary glands
- Persistent dry cough
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Diagnosing Sjogren’s Syndrome
There are several ways that Sjogren’s Syndrome can be diagnosed. Although blood tests and specific imaging tests are some of the most common options, there is also a new test called Sjo test which can help diagnose Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Treating Your Dry Eyes if You Have Sjogren’s Syndrome
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Sjogren’s Syndrome. Rather, a person with this condition must work closely with their team of medical professionals to address the different symptoms that they may be experiencing. There are various types of medications that you may be prescribed to mitigate the symptoms of the condition. For example, you may be prescribed medication that reduces inflammation or increases saliva production. Thankfully, many treatment options are available that can help you combat your dry eyes. Some examples include:
- Scleral lenses
Scleral lenses for dry eyes is one of the most common treatment options. Due to the custom and unique design of the scleral lens, a reservoir of moisture is maintained when you’re wearing them, which helps to keep dry eyes at bay.
Regener-Eyes Ophthalmic Solution are sterile eye drops that have been extensively used as a treatment method for Sjorgren’s Syndrome. The technology used to develop Regener-Eyes revolves around using different types of proteins which helps to reduce inflammation and triggers the immune system to potentially heal cells that have been impacted by Sjorgren’s Syndrome. In addition to these healing and anti-inflammatory properties, these eye drops may also encourage the regeneration of healthy cells which can ease the severe impact that Sjorgren’s Syndrome has had on your eyes. Regener-Eyes comes in two forms: Professional Strength and LITE. You will need to coordinate with your doctor to determine which option is best for you as well as how often you will need to use these drops, and how many drops you will need throughout the day. If you wear contacts, you will need to remove the contacts before you use the drops, however, you only need to wait approximately 15 minutes before you can reinsert them and move on with your day.
Get In Touch Today for More Information About Sjogren’s Syndrome and Dry Eyes
Our eye care professionals are always available to speak with you about the connection between Sjogren’s Syndrome and dry eyes. There is no reason why your eyes need to suffer from this condition. Schedule your appointment today so that we can help you to identify this condition and explain your treatment options to you.
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