Eye care

Mild to moderate cases of dry eyes can generally be treated with eye drops available from a pharmacy without prescription. A short-term dose of Corticosteroids may be prescribed if the over the counter drops don't work or if the eyes are severely dry and irritated. 

Surgery may be an option if other treatments don't work. This involves sealing the tear ducts to avoid the tears draining away, and protecting the eye instead.

Mouth Care

- good oral hygiene will prevent tooth decay and gum disease

- increasing your fluid intake

- use sugar-free chewing gum to stimulate the production of saliva

- sucking ice cubes to help lubricate your mouth and reduce dryness

- regularly using mouth rinses to soothe the mouth and protect it against infection

- smokers should quit, as the smoke irritates the mouth and increases saliva evaporation 

Saliva substitutes do lubricate the mouth but they don't prevent infection in the same way saliva does. Therefore, if you are using them, you must maintain excellent oral hygiene.

There are some medications that can be taken to treat the symptoms of Sjogren's;

Pilocarpine - stimulates the tear and saliva glands

Hydroxychloroquine - slows the immune system's attack on the tear and saliva glands

General advice for people with Sjogren's syndrome;

- visit the dentists every six months

- practise good dental hygiene

- avoid eating too many sweets

- avoid strong, perfumed soaps

- avoid dry environments (air-conditioned etc) when possible

- stop smoking and do not drink alcohol

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