What is Sjögren’s syndrome?
Sjögren’s syndrome (pronounced Sjögren) is a condition that primarily affects the lacrimal and salivary glands and causes dry mouth and/or dry eyes. The syndrome mainly affects women aged 40–60 years.
There are 2 types of Sjögren’s syndrome:
• Primary – when it occurs on its own.
• Secondary – when it occurs in combination with another rheumatic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus or scleroderma.
It is estimated that many people suffer from Sjögren’s syndrome, however the exact number is not known because many patients never report their symptoms to a doctor.
What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome?
The most common symptoms are:
• Dry, puffy, irritated eyes or feeling of sand in the eyes
• Dry mouth and/or throat, causing difficulty in chewing and swallowing food and forcing the patient to drink water frequently
• Feeling tired
• Joint pain and feeling of heaviness
There may also be dryness of the skin, digestive tract, vulva, or respiratory tract.