About Sjogren Syndrome
Sjogren Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder characterized by dry eyes and dry mouth. An autoimmune disorder is a condition in which the immune system of the body attacks the healthy cells mistaking them for foreign bodies. Sjogren Syndrome is most of the times associated with other autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
In a patient with Sjogren Syndrome, the mucous membranes and the moisture secreting glands of the eyes and mouth get adversely affected resulting in the primary presenting feature of dry eyes and dry mouth in the patient.
While Sjogren Syndrome can develop at any age, it is mostly seen in females above the age of 40. In some cases, males may also develop Sjogren Syndrome but this not that common.
Apart from dry eyes and dry mouth, the affected individual will experience itchiness and redness of the eyes, problems with speaking as a result of the dry mouth, pain in the joints and stiffness, and skin rashes.
Is Sjogren’s Syndrome Life Threatening?
Sjogren Syndrome is a serious medical condition but it does not pose a threat to the life of the affected individual. This is especially true when complications of this condition are prevented or diagnosed early and treated.
Patients with Sjogren Syndrome should be closely monitored for any complications pertaining to internal organ involvement. Individuals with Sjogren Syndrome are at an increased risk for development of lymphoma which is a cancer of the lymph nodes and thus should be monitored for that.
As of now, there is no definite cure for Sjogren Syndrome, although with treatments any complications can be avoided and symptoms can be controlled.
There are a variety of medications available for treating dry eyes and dry mouth. Additionally, immunosuppressant medications can also be given in case if there is involvement of any internal organ due to complication of Sjogren Syndrome.