Statistics compiled by the American College of Rheumatology suggest that between 400,000 and 3.1 million Americans are living with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition. For those in and around Katy, Texas, Padma Chimata, MD, of Katy Rheumatology & Associates is an excellent resource for treating this challenging condition. Call or click today to set up your personalized visit.
Sjogren’s syndrome is an inflammatory disease that most commonly affects your eyes and mouth. Many people develop Sjogren’s syndrome alongside lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
The most common symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome are itching, burning, dry eyes, or dry mouth. Some sufferers also have joint pain, swollen salivary glands, fatigue, dry cough, and skin rash.
Researchers believe there’s a genetic factor to Sjogren’s syndrome. It also seems clear that a triggering mechanism like viral or bacterial infections must be present for the condition to develop.
It’s important to seek treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome, as serious medical complications can develop from the disease. Some of the health risks linked to Sjogren’s syndrome include:
Blood testing and eye tests can help your specialist determine if you have Sjogren’s syndrome. A lip biopsy checks a small tissue sample for clusters of certain inflammatory cells. Advanced imaging like a sialogram or salivary scintigraphy can assess your saliva production.
Several medications can be used to treat Sjogren’s syndrome. Drug therapy can improve tear and saliva production and reduce your risk of developing a yeast infection in your mouth. Some drugs relieve symptoms by reducing your body’s immune response.
Drug therapy for autoimmune conditions isn’t a simple matter of writing a prescription and filling it. It usually takes time to find the right balance of medications to achieve optimal results, so a degree of patience is important.
You might find a degree of relief from over-the-counter lubricating eye drops. Increasing the humidity level in your home can also help with dry eyes.
You can soothe dry mouth by increasing your fluid intake, chewing sugar-free gum, or using a saline nasal spray to increase moisture in your nasal passages. Saliva substitutes are also an option and help create and maintain optimal moisture in your mouth.
To explore diagnostic and treatment options in more detail, call Katy Rheumatology & Associates today. Online booking is also an option and can be done from the comfort of home, any time of day or night.