Sufferers commonly experience dry eyes, which may be accompanied by blurred vision, light sensitivity, and eye irritation. However, dry eyes can have numerous other causes as well, and needn’t necessarily be a symptom of Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Aside from dry eyes, people tend to suffer from a dry mouth, which may also lead to an inability to chew and swallow easily. Sjogren’s Syndrome can also cause dry sinuses, which can lead to a high occurrence of sinus infections. Sufferers can experience dry and sore skin as well.
Joint and muscle pain are also common, and the disease can occur alongside arthritis in some people.
It is not known exactly what causes Sjogren’s Syndrome. It is thought to be linked to genetics, but may also be linked to bacterial or viral infection.
Some people have a higher chance of developing the condition than others. Older women are most at risk, and around 90% of people with Sjogren’s Syndrome are female.
The disease can occur on its own, but in some people it occurs alongside other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and arthritis.
Treatments generally focus on the symptoms, as the cause is as yet unknown. Dry eye treatments range from simple eye drops to surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.