About Sjögren's Syndrome


Inflammation of the exocrine glands caused by an incorrect response of the immune system. The inflammatory damage causes decreased production of tears and saliva and then dry eyes and mouth.



It 'was first described in 1933 the Swedish ophthalmologist Herik Sjögren in a group of patients with chronic arthritis. The syndrome, in fact, is not only a disease of the glands but can involve various internal organs.

For the accumulation of genetic, hormonal (nine out of ten patients are women) and immunological.
The immune reaction, which would attack foreign microorganisms, addresses an error against the fabric of the exocrine glands, establishing the inflammation and, eventually, destruction.


HOW TO UNDERSTAND ?

Usually causes:

    persistent eye problems (burning and feeling of sand in the eyes);
    frequent infections of the mouth;
    swelling of the parotid;
    dryness, difficulty chewing and swallowing dry foods.

The disease can also cause noticeable fatigue, joint pain and dryness of the nose and vagina.
In some cases, other organs may be involved, such as skin, lung, kidney.
In about half of Sjögren's syndrome patients is associated with other rheumatic syndromes, particularly rheumatoid arthritis or mixed connective tissue disease. The autoimmune response is demonstrated by the presence in serum of patients with auto-antibodies that react with constituents of the body, such as antinuclear antibodies and rheumatoid factor.


HOW TO CARE ?

There is no treatment to repair and fully restore the function of damaged glands.
It is essential to use eye drops and topical preparations to replace the tears produced and prevent damage caused by dry eye. Instead, preparations such as pilocarpine, which stimulates the secretion of glands, can alleviate the symptoms associated with dry mouth.
In some cases, especially if other organs are involved, may be needed treatment with cortisone .