While dry eyes and cottonmouth can develop from many causes, if you have these symptoms and they don’t seem to be improving despite your best efforts, you may have Sjogren’s syndrome. The experienced team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC in Manchester and Middletown, Connecticut, specializes in the diagnosis and management of Sjogren’s syndrome and can provide the treatment you need to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. To learn more, schedule an evaluation online or by phone today.

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What is Sjogren’s syndrome?

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which your body’s immune system attacks various cells and organs in your body. The disorder usually starts by attacking the glands that produce tears and saliva, but may then progress to attacking other body parts, such as your joints, thyroid, or lungs.

Researchers aren’t certain of the underlying cause of the disorder but theorize it may be a genetic trait triggered by a viral or bacterial infection. Currently, there’s no cure for Sjogren’s syndrome, but the team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC provide treatment to help manage your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome?

Dry eyes and dry mouth are the most common symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome. However, as the disease progresses, you may also begin to experience:

  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Persistent cough

Women also report vaginal dryness with Sjogren’s syndrome.

How is Sjogren’s syndrome diagnosed?

Your doctor at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC performs a comprehensive examination when you come to the office with symptoms that may indicate Sjogren’s syndrome. There’s no single test for the disorder, and your specialist may recommend diagnostic testing to rule out other conditions.

During your evaluation, your specialist reviews your symptoms and medical history and completes a physical exam. You may also need special blood tests, an eye test, and another test to determine the type of condition causing your symptoms.

What are the treatments for Sjogren’s syndrome?

Treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome centers around symptom management. Your specialist at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC creates a personalized treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and the organs affected by the disorder. You may be able to manage your dry eyes and mouth with over-the-counter eye drops and regular sips of water.

However, if at-home treatments don’t provide the relief you need, your doctor may prescribe eye drops and medication to increase saliva production. Additional treatments may also be necessary if your Sjogren’s syndrome is affecting other body systems.

Sjogren’s syndrome is a lifelong condition that can be managed. For answers to your health questions, call Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC or schedule an appointment online today.