Welcome to Mysooru News

mysore latest news

All you need to know on Sjogren’s syndrome

3 min read

Mysuru: Sjogren’s syndrome is a disease that affects the glands that make moisture. It causes dryness of the mouth and/or eyes. It may also cause joint pains, fatigue, and internal organ disease.

World Sjogren’s Day is observed every year on July 23 to raise awareness on the disease. Besides, the day marks the birth anniversary of Dr Henrik Sjögren, the Swedish ophthalmologist who discovered Sjögren’s, says Dr. Mahabaleshwar M, Consultant Rheumatologist, JSS Mysuru.

In a release, Dr. Mahabaleshwar says women are nine times more likely to develop Sjogren’s syndrome than men. The average age of diagnosis is 40 though it can affect all ages and sexes.


The exact cause is not known. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own organs. In this disease, the immune system predominantly attacks organs that are responsible for the production of saliva (salivary glands in the mouth) and tears (lacrimal glands in the eyes). An immune attack on these glands leads to decreased production of saliva and tears leading to dryness of mouth and eyes respectively.

Symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome

Though dryness of various body organs is the most common symptom in Sjogren’s syndrome, as it is a multisystem disease it can present with varied symptoms such as dry eyes; foreign body sensation or grittiness in the eyes; dry mouth; difficulty in swallowing, talking, and chewing; dry skin; increased tooth caries/decay; Thyroid problems and numbness and tingling in hands and feet among others.


This disease is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. Rheumatologist is a doctor trained in diagnosing and treating Sjogren’s syndrome.

After a detailed history, and appropriate clinical examination your Rheumatologists will order some investigations which include blood tests, urine tests, and special tests in the eye and mouth. You may be examined by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor), and simple tests may be performed on the eye to test the tear flow. Lower Lip biopsy to look for involvement of salivary glands is usually part of diagnostic tests. It is a relatively painless minor procedure usually done by a dentist. Special immunological tests like Rheumatoid Factor, ANA (Antinuclear Antibody), and ANA profile may also be usually ordered.

Is there a cure for Sjogren’s syndrome?

Currently, there is no cure for Sjogren’s syndrome. But early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications


According to Dr Mahabaleshwar M, treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the organ affected.

Dry eyes and mouth: In addition to artificial tears and saliva, medications like pilocarpine and cevimeline may be prescribed to increase the secretions.

Painkillers and steroids: Painkillers and steroids may be prescribed as and when needed to treat joint pains. Steroids are also used to treat severe internal organ diseases

Immunosuppressives: Some patients are prescribed immunosuppressives like methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, azathioprine, and mycophenolate depending on the internal organ involvement.

Besides, one should make some lifestyle modifications for dry mouth like eat soft food; eat smaller and more frequent meals to stimulate salivary flow and such.

For dry eyes, one should wear sunglasses, and shields to prevent moisture evaporation; protect eyes from strong air currents that may irritate and aggravate dryness; clean the eyelids with clean warm water and mild soap; use non-preserved artificial tears as advised by the doctor and such.

For dry skin, one should use warm water instead of hot water for bathing; after taking bath, apply Vaseline/moisturising cream or oil immediately to seal the moisture; use a sunscreen lotion with a minimum SPF of 30 on sun-exposed areas while going outdoors.

To prevent dry nose, one should make lifestyle modifications and that include use Saline sprays, and humidifiers to keep the nose moist and crust free; avoid air-conditioned environments, especially in dry mode.

-Team Mysoorunews


Mysooru News

Share this