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Ease the Symptoms of Sjögren’s Syndrome

Women are more likely than men to develop Sjögren’s syndrome. This autoimmune disease targets the glands that produce tears, saliva, and other natural lubricants. The result: dry eyes and dry mouth.

While there is no cure, you can take steps to help make life with Sjögren’s less uncomfortable.

  • For dry mouth: Use sugar-free gum or candies to get saliva flowing. Rinse your mouth with water several times per day. Don’t use alcohol-based mouthwashes. Salivary substitutes are available that contain lubricants to keep the mouth moist. Some medications can be taken to stimulate salivary flow. Ask your physician or dentist.

  • For dry eyes: Artificial tears, available over the counter, can provide relief.

  • For dry skin: Apply ointments or heavy moisturizing creams, not lotions. Take brief showers and wash with moisturizing soap.

“Sjögren’s Syndrome,” Medline Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, October 19, 2012. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sjogrenssyndrome.html. Accessed 2013.

“What Is Sjögren’s Syndrome? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, July 2010. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sjogrens_Syndrome/sjogrens_syndrome_ff.asp.  Accessed 2013.

“Questions and Answers About Sjögren’s Syndrome.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, June 2013. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sjogrens_Syndrome/default.asp. Accessed 2013.

"Sjögren's Syndrome: Lifestyle and Home Remedies." MayoClinic. August 6, 2011. www.mayoclinic.com/health/sjogrens-syndrome/DS00147/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies. Accessed 2013.

Author: Lieberman,Adrienne