Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren's Syndrome in San Antonio &  Windcrest, TX

What is Sjogren’s syndrome?

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system mistakenly attacks parts of your own body. If you have Sjogren’s syndrome, your body can attack glands that make saliva and tears, resulting in dryness and other unpleasant symptoms in your throat, skin, eyes, nose, and other parts of your body. It can also cause problems with your joints, organs, and nerves.

What are the symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome?

If you have Sjogren’s syndrome, you might experience the following signs or symptoms:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Decreased saliva and tears
  • Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Dry skin
  • A rash
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Vaginal dryness

Complications that can develop with Sjogren's syndrome include yeast infections, cavities, vision problems, and eye damage.

What are the risk factors for Sjogren's syndrome?

Certain factors appear to increase your risk of developing Sjogren's syndrome. While you can experience it at any age, most people diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome are older than 40. It’s more common among women than men. Having a rheumatic disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, also boosts your risk. 

How is Sjogren’s syndrome diagnosed?

To diagnose Sjogren’s syndrome, your doctor discusses your symptoms and reviews your medical history. They complete a physical exam and might recommend mouth and eye tests, blood tests, imaging procedures, or biopsies.

How is Sjogren’s syndrome treated?

To treat Sjogren’s syndrome, your rheumatologist helps reduce unpleasant symptoms. They tailor each treatment to your specific needs and might recommend medications or lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Artificial tears
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Medications that increase saliva
  • Arthritis medications
  • Increasing fluids
  • Chewing sugarless gum
  • Not smoking

A minor surgical procedure helps seal tear ducts to reduce tear drainages and relieve dry eyes associated with Sjogren’s syndrome. Your rheumatologist lets you know if you’re a good candidate for surgery and might recommend it if other dry-eye treatments haven’t worked.

Don’t live with unpleasant symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome when simple treatments are available at Rheumatology Solutions. At the first sign of the disease, call our Windcrest, TX office at (210) 590-9596 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online today. We serve residents in San Antonio, TX!

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