Sjögren’s syndrome is known for causing a dry mouth and eyes, but it can lead to other serious health problems throughout your body. The board-certified rheumatologists at the Rheumatic Disease Center in Milwaukee, Glendale, and Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, have extensive experience identifying Sjögren’s syndrome and providing customized treatments that ease your symptoms and protect your overall health. Call the nearest office today or use the online booking feature to learn if your dry eyes and mouth are caused by Sjögren’s syndrome.
Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that develops when your immune system attacks moisture-producing glands. Though the disease can affect any part of your body, it usually begins in your eyes and mouth. As a result, you don’t have enough tears and saliva to keep your eyes, mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
Sjögren’s syndrome often occurs together with other autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The most common Sjögren’s symptoms include:
Sjögren’s can affect so many body areas — including your nerves, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract — that you can exhibit a wide range of symptoms. That’s why it’s essential to seek the care of the experienced rheumatologists at the Rheumatic Disease Center.
No lab tests can confirm Sjögren’s syndrome. In addition to evaluating your medical history and symptoms, your provider conducts several blood tests and runs specialized tests to assess concerns like tear or saliva production.
In some cases, they’ll take a biopsy of the salivary glands. They could also ask you to schedule an eye exam to identify potential damage caused by dry eyes.
Your Rheumatic Disease Center provider creates an individualized treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and the areas affected by Sjögren’s. Your treatment can include:
Most people need artificial tears or ointments to keep their eyes moist. You should also schedule routine eye exams because chronic dry eyes can damage your cornea.
Your Rheumatic Disease Center provider can prescribe a saliva substitute, mouth moisturizers, or medication that increases your saliva.
No one medication can tackle the many manifestations of Sjögren’s syndrome. However, your provider can prescribe medicines like corticosteroids and immunosuppressants to relieve specific symptoms and slow the disease’s progression.
Call the Rheumatic Disease Center today or request an appointment online to get expert care for Sjögren’s syndrome.