Sjogren syndrome

  • Long term disorder of the immune system affecting the entire body
  • Symptoms may include dry, red, and painful eyes, dry mouth and dry skin
  • Can occur alone or along with other diseases that affect the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Cause unknown but may be related to genetic and environmental factors
  • Cannot be spread from person to person
  • Affects males and females but more common in females
  • Can occur at any age but most common in middle age
  • May be mild to severe
  • Generally, not life threatening

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Keep skin moisturized
  • Avoid very hot water

 

FOR DRY EYES

  • Use a humidifier
  • Avoid sitting in windy or drafty locations
  • Wear sunglasses in the sun
  • Over-the-counter medicines (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage)
    • Artificial tears

FOR DRY MOUTH

  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Suck on hard candy or chew sugarless gum
  • Over-the-counter medicines (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage)
    • Artificial saliva

 

FOR ITCHING

  • Avoid items or situations that cause you to itch
  • Moisturize daily
  • Use creams, lotions or gels that soothe and cool the skin
  • Avoid scratching
  • Cut fingernails short, and consider wearing gloves at night to prevent scratching
  • Use mild, fragrance free soap and laundry detergent
  • Cover area with cold wet bandages or take a cool bath
  • Over-the-counter medicines (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):
    • Hydrocortisone cream
    • Diphenhydramine

 

FOR PAIN

  • Apply hot or cold packs to the area
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Distraction
  • Over-the-counter medicine (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):
    • Acetaminophen
    • Ibuprofen

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