Sjogren’s Syndrome

Doctors hands

Overview

What is Sjogren’s syndrome?

Sjogren’s syndrome is a type of autoimmune condition that most often affects the tear and saliva ducts. It is characterized by dry eyes and/or a dry mouth. While it can occur at any age, it is most common in older women. Many of these patients can also have other autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis.  

Symptoms

Symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome

The primary symptoms of of Sjogren’s syndrome are dryness in the eyes, mouth, and nose. There may also be:

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Swollen glands

Affecting the parotid or salivary glands

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Change in taste or smell

May also experience a dry nose or lips

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Dry cough or shortness of breath

As well as other respiratory issues

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome

Physical examination

A physical examination will detect if dry eyes and/or a dry mouth are present

Blood tests

To determine the presence of antibodies typical of Sjogren’s syndrome

Special studies

When necessary, to determine the cause of dry eyes and mouth

Eye examination

May also helpful in detecting any changes attributable to Sjogren’s syndrome

Treatments

Treatments for Sjogren’s syndrome

Treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome is aimed at relieving the symptoms of dry eyes and mouth, and preventing or treating any long-term complications such as infection or dental disease. While treatments may not entirely eradicate the symptoms of dryness, most Sjögren’s syndrome patients are able to live normal lives. 

Your rheumatologist may prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation in the tear ducts and artificial tears to combat dry eye. Medications may also be prescribed to stimulate saliva flow. Hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, may be helpful in some patients with Sjögren’s syndrome who have joint pain or rash experienced by some patients. 

Trials

Clinical Trials

The rheumatologists at Saint John’s Physician Partners have been integrally involved in the development of medications that treat inflammatory arthritis conditions for decades. They were involved in the clinical trials that led to the approval at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medications that treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (SpA), osteoarthritis, and other bone and skin conditions like osteoporosis and psoriasis advanced therapies, some of which are biologic treatments. 

Specialists

Sjogren’s syndrome Specialists

Orrin Troum, M.D. and Amro Elbalkhi, M.D. provide consultation, diagnosis, and treatment for rheumatic diseases including inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), scleroderma, myositis, gout, lupus, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. The Medical Doctors of Saint Johns strive to provide world class care and a personalized treatment plan for all patients and their families.  

2336 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 207, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2336 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 207, Santa Monica, CA 90404