Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune syndrome characterized by two of its common symptoms, dry eyes and dry mouth. The condition is often reported to accompany other immune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dry eyes and dry mouth are the most evident symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome, as the moisture-secreting glands and mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes are usually affected first in people with this condition. Decreased saliva and tears respectively make the mouth and eyes dry.
Although Sjogren’s disease can affect people of any age group, people above the age of 40 are at higher risk of developing it.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sjogren’s Syndrome?
The most common symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome are:
- Dry mouth: Swallowing and speaking becomes difficult due to dry mouth.
- Dry eyes: You might feel a burning sensation or itchiness in your eyes.
People with the condition have also reported symptoms like:
- Dry skin or skin rashes
- Prolonged fatigue
- Dry cough
- Stiffness, pain and swelling of joints
What Are The Causes Of Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. It is caused when your immune system attacks the healthy cells and tissues in your body.
The exact reason why people develop the condition is still not understood completely. It is known that certain genes increase the risk of developing the condition but a triggering mechanism like a viral or bacterial infection seems to be necessary.
The immune system of people with Sjogren’s syndrome launches the first attack on the glands that make tears and saliva. But it is possible that other parts of the body also get affected. They include:
What Are The Risk Factors Of Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Here are some of the factors that put people at risk of developing Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Age: People over 40 years of age belong to the risk group of Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Sex: Women are more likely to develop the condition than men.
- Rheumatic disease: People with Sjogren’s syndrome usually develop rheumatic diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are The Common Complications Associated With Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Here are some common complications associated with Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Dental cavities: Saliva has features that protect the teeth from bacteria that cause cavities. Dry mouth means there is an increased chance for dental cavities.
- Yeast infections: There is an increased chance for people with the condition to develop a yeast infection called oral thrush.
- Vision problems: Blurred vision, light sensitivity and corneal damage are often reported by people with the condition.