Sjogren Syndrome is an autoimmune condition affecting the eyes and mouth. This condition results in the affected individual having dry eyes and dry mouth. An autoimmune disorder is a medical condition in which the immune system of the body mistakenly starts attacking and eliminating the healthy tissues and cells causing a variety of symptoms.
Sjogren Syndrome in most of the cases is accompanied by other autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The moisture secreting glands of the body are affected first by this condition resulting in decreased production of saliva and tears.
Females above the age of 40 tend to get affected by this condition more than males, although individuals of any age can develop Sjogren Syndrome. As of now, there is no definite cure for Sjogren Syndrome and treatment is basically symptomatic.
In addition to dry eyes and dry mouth an individual with Sjogren Syndrome may also experience itching and burning of the eyes along with problems swallowing and speaking. Additionally, the individual may also experience joint pain and stiffness, swelling of the salivary gland, and skin rash.
Is Sjogren’s Syndrome Hereditary?
There is no evidence as of yet to suggest that Sjögren Syndrome is hereditary, although it can be caused as a result of certain genetic and environmental factors. Studies have not shown any specific gene variations that may be linked to the development of Sjögren Syndrome. There may be certain variations in genes which may increase the risk of an individual developing Sjögren Syndrome later on in life.
Viral and bacterial infections are believed to be major triggers which can activate the immune mechanism of the body and result in the development of this condition in susceptible individuals.
However, the risk of developing an autoimmune condition may run in families and an individual with a family history of autoimmune conditions like Sjögren Syndrome is at an increased risk for developing this condition or other autoimmune conditions like lupus. Thus it can be said that although the risk of developing an autoimmune disorder may run in families, there is no particular gene variation which can definitely cause Sjögren Syndrome.
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