Sjogren's syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome (pronounced ‘showgren’) is where the moisture-producing glands in your body become inflamed

About

Sjögren's syndrome is a condition that mostly affects the moisture-producing glands of your body that make fluids like tears and saliva. It usually starts in middle-aged people around the age of 40 to 60 and is more common in women than men. This is a long-term condition that can affect your daily life if not managed properly.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome icon plus

    Symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome may include:

    • dry mouth, eyes and/or skin
    • vaginal dryness in women
    • bladder irritability
    • muscle or joint pain
    • fatigue
    • swollen salivary glands
    • rashes
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will speak to you about your symptoms and carry out various tests. You may be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist), dentist or oral surgeon or a rheumatologist. They may carry out some, or all, of the following:

    • a blood test
    • checking the layer of tears on your eyes
    • measuring how many tears you produce
    • spit test
    • removing a piece of lip tissue
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    There is no cure for Sjögren's syndrome, but various treatments can alleviate the symptoms. These include:

    • using lubricating eye drops and ointments for dry eyes
    • using a saliva substitute including sprays, lozenges and gels for dry mouth
    • using a moisturising cream for dry skin
    • hormone replacement therapy for vaginal dryness
    • a quinine-derived drug which is useful for joint pains and fatigue
    • anti-inflammatory painkillers and regular exercise or physiotherapy for joint pain

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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