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Dry Eyes? Understanding the Syndrome that might be the real problem

Do you have chronic dry eyes? If you do, you probably think that it’s being caused by dry eye syndrome, but that may not be so, therefore you should get tested to be sure. There are cases in which there is another syndrome that might be the real problem, and it can be a lot more debilitating. It’s known as Sjögren’s  Syndrome (click here).

Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s  Syndrome is an immune system disorder that can cause  dry eyes. However, because the symptoms of the condition closely mimic those of other diseases, it often goes undiagnosed.

Symptoms

Dry eyes and dry mouth are the most common symptoms of Sjögren’s  Syndrome. Other symptoms may include recurring cough, chronic sinusitis, difficulty swallowing, joint pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

Diagnosis

An early diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome is important, as the condition can cause serious health problems if it goes undiagnosed for a long time. Sjögren’s  Syndrome is diagnosed with the use of an advanced diagnostic test called Sjö. The Sjö test is a simple one that can be done in the ophthalmologist’s office.  If the result of the Sjö test is positive, then the diagnosis may also be confirmed by a rheumatologist.

Treatment

Once Sjögren’s  Syndrome has been positively diagnosed, an active treatment plan must begin to stem further progression. Treatment will depend on the specific symptoms the patient is experiencing. In some cases it may require dietary adjustments, eye-lubricating ointments, as well as relevant prescription medications (learn more).

If you are bothered by persistent dry eyes, Sjögren’s Syndrome may be the real problem behind it. Contact Envision Eye & Laser Center in Bowie, MD and schedule a consultation with Dr. Renee Bovelle to find out more.  Call 301-805-4664 today, or go to www.envisioneyeandlaser.com/contact.

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