Sjogren's syndrome

Sjogren's (SHOW-grins) syndrome is a disorder of your immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth.

Sjogren's syndrome often accompanies other immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. In Sjogren's syndrome, the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth are usually affected first — resulting in decreased production of tears and saliva.

Although you can develop Sjogren's syndrome at any age, most people are older than 40 at the time of diagnosis. The condition is much more common in women. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications

The two main symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome are:

  • Dry eyes. Your eyes may burn, itch or feel gritty — as if there's sand in them.
  • Dry mouth. Your mouth may feel like it's full of cotton, making it difficult to swallow or speak.

Some people with Sjogren's syndrome also experience one or more of the following:

  • Joint pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Swollen salivary glands — particularly the set located behind your jaw and in front of your ears
  • Skin rashes or dry skin
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Prolonged fatigue

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