Ease the Symptoms of Sjögren’s Syndrome
Women are more likely than men to develop Sjögren’s syndrome.1 This autoimmune disease targets the glands that produce tears, saliva, and other natural lubricants.2 The result: dry eyes and dry mouth.2
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.2 Rinse your mouth with water several times per day. Don’t use alcohol-based mouthwashes.3 Salivary substitutes are available that contain lubricants to keep the mouth moist. Some medications can be taken to stimulate salivary flow.4 Ask your physician or dentist.
For dry eyes: Artificial tears, available over the counter, can provide relief.2
For dry skin: Apply ointments or heavy moisturizing creams, not lotions. Take brief showers and wash with moisturizing soap.3
1 “Sjögren’s Syndrome,” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, July 17, 2008. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sjogrenssyndrome.html. Accessed 2010.
2 “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, September 2007. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sjogrens_Syndrome/sjogrens_syndrome_ff.asp. Accessed 2010.
3 “Questions and Answers About Sjögren’s Syndrome.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, December 2006. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sjogrens_Syndrome/default.asp. Accessed 2010.
4 Sjogren's Syndrome, MayoClinic.com, June 19, 2010. www.mayoclinic.com/health/sjogrens-syndrome/DS00147/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies. Accessed 2010.