Do I Have Sjögrens Syndrome?

Symptoms vary from person to person but may include:


When tears do not adequately lubricate the eye, a person may experience:

  • Pain

  • Light sensitivity

  • A gritty sensation

  • A feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye

  • Itching 

  • Burning 

  • Redness

  • Blurring of vision

  • Sometimes, a person with dry eye will have excess tears running down the cheeks, which may seem confusing. This happens when the eye isn't getting enough lubrication. The eye sends a distress signal through the nervous system for more lubrication. In response, the eye is flooded with tears to try to compensate for the underlying dryness. However, these tears are mostly water and do not have the lubricating qualities or the rich composition of normal tears. They will wash debris away, but they will not coat the eye surface properly.

    Dry Eye Tests

    Since there are 3 different tear layers produced to make the right consistency of the tears, these tests, performed by an eye doctor, help determine where the dry eye problem may be coming from, and what treatment may be needed.

    Tear film break-up time (10 seconds)

    Positive Schirmer tear test

    Tear Osmolarity

    Tear protein levels (lactorerrin and lysozyme)

    Evaluation of debris in tear film

    Conjunctival impression cytoloty

    Presence of corneal filaments

    Positive Rose-Bengal or fluorescein staining of cornea and conjunctiva.


    Lack of sufficient saliva may cause:
    • dry, pasty, "cotton" mouth 
    • difficulty talking, chewing or swallowing 
    • a sore or cracked tongue 
    • dry or burning throat 
    • dry or peeling lips
    • a change in taste or smell  
    • hypersensitivity to spicy food
    • increased dental decay 
    • cough when speaking
     Sjögren's Syndrome may also include:
    • joint pain 
    • vaginal dryness
    • digestive problems such as constipation, heartburn or GERD 
    • dry nose 
    • fatigue
    • Sinus symptoms
    • Cutaneous (skin) symptoms
    • Vasculitis - inflammation of the blood vessels
    • Pulmonary (lung) symptoms
    • Kidney/bladder symptoms
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms
    • Neurological symptoms
    • Gynecological symptoms
    It is more common in women and more common in persons over 40 years of age. It is also more common in people who have another autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis A or Lupus.

    Be persistent in obtaining a diagnosis. Few doctors know about this symdrome. The averge time for diagnosis is 7-10 years.

    You need to see a rheumatologist.