Sjogren’s syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease, which is characterized by loss of epithelial secretory glands with the development of keratoconjunctivitis sicca and xerostomia. As a result, the function of the salivary and lacrimal glands is broken. 70% of patients have a chronic disease of the joints.
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
- Foreign body sensation in the eye.
- Dry mouth, hoarseness, swallowing disorder.
- Inflammation of the middle ear.
- Frequent nosebleeds.
Sjogren’s syndrome develops due to genetic disorders and environmental factors. It is assumed that the disease can be caused by various hepatitis viruses, herpes, retroviruses. Most often, women in menopause suffer from Sjogren’s syndrome. They suffer from this disease 9 times more often than men. Sjogren’s syndrome refers to rheumatic diseases. High content of rheumatoid factor is detected in the blood of patients. In some cases, it is established that Sjogren’s syndrome is the result of some severe autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the specific antibodies are formed in humans, the immune response against the organism itself begin their action.
In severe cases, the doctor prescribes glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids inhibit the formation of antibodies, and immunosuppressants. In mild to moderate disease, at first, symptomatic treatment is conducted by: a means to stimulate the secretion of saliva apply; artificial tears are instilled into the eyes of the patient to compensate for the lack of production of tears.
If after a few days the symptoms persist, you should consult a doctor.
At first, the doctor examines the patient, perform Schirmer test, during which absorbent litmus test is applied to the edge of the lower eyelid. After 5 minutes, 10-20 mm of litmus strips should be humidified. The result is less than 5 mm is considered abnormal. In addition, the patient’s blood is analyzed, the study of liver enzymes, immunological studies are performed. To confirm the diagnosis sometimes bone marrow puncture is performed.
Course of the disease
When there is inflammatory process, salivary and lacrimal glands swell. Parotid gland are especially affected. The function of the affected gland is disrupted and they begin to produce less saliva and tear. There is not protective tear film in the eyes, corneal inflammation begins, corneal ulcers appear. By reducing the salivary, swallowing is broken, it is difficult to say, the taste becomes distorted. Mucous membranes of the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea become dry. There are cracks, peels and ulcers. There are nosebleeds, diseases of the bronchi, inflammation of the middle ear, anemia.
Diseases of glands are often accompanied by chronic inflammation of the joints, which typically affects the small joints. In other patients there are inflammatory changes of connective tissue diseases of the veins and small arteries and restriction of blood vessels spasms, subcutaneous bleeding, and sometimes swollen lymph nodes and spleen, or there is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. With the progression of Sjogren’s syndrome pneumonia, inflammation of the kidneys and central nervous system are possible.