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SJOGREN SYNDROME

Intro

If you have dryness in the mouth, throat, or eyes that persists and is bothersome, you should see your health care provider. Swollen or painful parotid glands also warrant a visit to your health care provider. Dry, gritty, or burning eyes warrant a visit to an ophthalmologist.

Self-Care at Home

Much of the treatment of Sjogren syndrome is aimed at relieving symptoms. Your health care provider will provide guidance and suggestions, but it is partly up to you to find the treatments that work best for you.

Ask your health care provider whether any medications you take for other medical problems could be contributing to your dryness. If so, ask him or her about alternatives. Some common medications that can worsen dry eyes and dry mouth.

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Tranquilizers
  • Some blood pressure   medications
  • Some diarrhea   medications
  • Some antipsychotic medications

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These general tips may help with dry eyes.

  • Blink several times a minute while reading or working on the computer.
  • Protect your eyes from windy or breezy conditions.
  • Use humidifiers in the rooms where you spend much of your time, including your bedroom.
  • Don’t smoke, and stay away from smoky rooms.
  • If you wear eye makeup, apply only to the upper eyelids and to the tips of your eyelashes to keep it out of your eyes.
  • Eyeglasses fitted with moisture shields can decrease evaporation.

These general tips may help with dry mouth and its complications.

  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless, sour hard candies (especially grape or lemon) to stimulate saliva production.
  • Take small sips of water frequently throughout the day, especially if you are talking a lot.
  • Keep a glass of water at your bedside to moisten your mouth at night.
  • Do not use mouthwashes that contain alcohol, as these are drying. Instead, rinse your mouth with water several times a day.
  • Brush your teeth gently with a fluoride toothpaste after every meal and before going to bed. Nonfoaming toothpastes are less drying.
  • Avoid sugary foods and snacks that promote tooth decay.
  • If you wear dentures, disinfect them often.
  • Look at your mouth every day to check for sores and redness that could signal infection.
Prevention

There is no known way of preventing Sjogren syndrome.

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