Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that causes your eyes and mouth to lose their natural lubrication. If you have symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome, experienced rheumatologist Kiren Sahni, DO, FACR, and his team at Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy can help. They provide a prompt diagnosis and expert treatment for patients suffering from Sjögren's syndrome at their offices in West Long Branch and Colonia, New Jersey. Call Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online tool.
Sjögren's syndrome is a condition in which parts of your body that are normally moist and lubricated dry out. Your eyes and mouth are the areas most likely to be affected, but Sjögren's syndrome may also make your throat, nasal passages, and vagina dry.
Sjögren's syndrome can make your eyes feel gritty as well as dry, and they might start burning painfully. Areas of skin could also dry out, and you might find the glands in your face and neck swell.
Sjögren's syndrome can trigger acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and problems with swallowing. A lack of saliva in your mouth can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and yeast infections.
If there aren't enough tears in your eyes to wash them clean and keep them lubricated, you're more likely to get eye infections and could suffer damage to your cornea.
Some people with Sjögren's syndrome develop painful, stiff joints, vasculitis (inflammation in the small blood vessels), and swollen salivary glands.
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune condition, which means the immune system that protects you from bacteria, viruses, and other threats to your health malfunctions. With Sjögren's syndrome, your immune system mistakenly targets certain cells in your salivary glands and tear ducts.
The reason why this happens in some people isn't clear, but there might be something in your genetic makeup that increases your risk of developing Sjögren's syndrome.
There are two forms of the disease:
This type of Sjögren's syndrome affects people who don't already have any rheumatic diseases.
This type of Sjögren's syndrome develops in patients who have rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
There's no cure for Sjögren's syndrome yet, but fortunately, most people who have the disease don't experience serious health issues. The Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy team aims to reduce the symptoms Sjögren's syndrome can cause to improve your quality of life. Their treatments also reduce the risk of oral health problems and eye infections.
Artificial tears help keep your eyeballs lubricated, and eye drops can increase tear production. If you have severely dry eyes, you might need to undergo a procedure to fit tiny punctal plugs made of silicone into your tear ducts.
Chewing gum and taking frequent drinks can relieve dry mouth. There are also medications available to help increase saliva production.
To find out more about Sjögren's syndrome and managing it successfully, call Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy today, or book an appointment online.