Sjögren's Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions
Who is most likely to develop Sjögren's syndrome?
Ninety percent of people diagnosed with Sjögren's are women. Most people are diagnosed in their late forties, but the condition can occur in all age groups and in both sexes. If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to Sjögren's, it is important to talk to your doctor.
What kind of doctor should I talk to about Sjögren's syndrome?
Sjögren's is usually diagnosed by rheumatologists using different diagnostic tests such as blood tests, eye tests and salivary flow tests. However, you can also talk to your other doctors depending on your symptoms. Many patients discuss their different Sjögren's symptoms with their ophthalmologist, dentist or general healthcare provider. Click here to find tips for talking to your doctor.
Is there a cure for Sjögren's syndrome?
Today, there is no known cure for Sjögren's, but treatments do exist to help manage the symptoms. Over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to help patients manage their dry-eye and dry-mouth symptoms associated with Sjögren's. These treatment options may also be used to alleviate other types of dryness. For patients who may have systemic symptoms (such as inflammation) there are also treatment options to consider. If you are diagnosed with Sjögren's, you should discuss with your doctor which treatment(s) may work best for you.
If I am diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome, how will living with the condition affect my life?
The condition affects everyone differently. Some people may experience mild symptoms, such as itchy, dry eyes, or difficulty swallowing due to dry mouth. Others may experience more severe symptoms, such as gritty, extremely irritated eyes or cracked tongue. Either way, if you are diagnosed with Sjögren's, you should discuss available treatment options with your doctor.
What happens if Sjögren's syndrome is left untreated?
While most patients with Sjögren's are able to manage their symptoms and lead full lives, if symptoms are left untreated, patients may experience additional complications including increased risk for dental cavities, yeast infections of the mouth (oral thrush), vision problems, or inflammation of the major organs. It is important for someone who is experiencing symptoms of Sjögren's to talk to a doctor.