Signs and Symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is a rheumatic, autoimmune condition that can affect the entire body. Affecting ten times more women than men, it is most often diagnosed in middle-age. There is no specific FDA-approved immune therapy for Sjogren’s. However, there are effective methods to relieve symptoms and complications. Knowing the signs and symptoms of Sjogren’s can help determine a diagnosis. Approximately half of the individuals with Sjogren’s have another autoimmune disorder. At Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, California, we have expertise in diagnosing and treating conditions such as Sjogren’s.
Signs and Symptoms of Sjogren’s
The two most common symptoms of the condition are dry eyes and mouth. Many people report a burning, itching sensation in the eyes and difficulty swallowing or speaking. Other symptoms can include:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Swollen salivary glands
- Dry skin
- Vaginal dryness
Sjogren’s can be difficult to diagnose because dry eyes and dry mouth are symptoms that many people deal with daily. Because it is an autoimmune disorder, seeking the care of a rheumatologist is very helpful in obtaining an official diagnosis.
Blood tests may be ordered to look for specific autoimmune antibodies or a rheumatoid factor. The doctor may assess tear and saliva production and an eye examination to check for damage to the eye’s surface. Biopsies of the lip and salivary glands can also aid in diagnosis.
Treatment for Sjogren’s often involves a multi-faceted approach to managing symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil can help reduce pain. Artificial tear drops can help address dry eyes. Prescription drugs can help stimulate saliva flow, and antifungals may be needed to treat any yeast infections—patients with Sjogren’s need to seek routine dental care to prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay.
If you’re living with Sjogren’s, we can help
With the expertise of rheumatologists like Dr. Lloyd, patients with Sjogren’s can live full lives. Through routine monitoring, he can adjust treatments and medications as needed to ensure you are as symptom-free as possible. If you have noticed the signs and symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome and would like to schedule an appointment at Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center, give us a call at 760-509-2429.