Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease, in which the white blood cell damage the salivary and lacrimal glands. The name comes from a Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren, who introduced the disease in 1933. Today, as many as 4 million Americans are suffering from Sjögren’s syndrome. Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s may affect all organs, including kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, ccentral nervous system. Patients also experience fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of developing lymphoma. Nine out of 10 patients are women. People in theirs 40s are more likely to get sick, although there are cases in all age groups. Often, Dry Eye Disease can be the first sign of Sjögren’s Syndrome.
SJO™ is an advanced diagnostic test now available to help your eye doctor determine whether or not you may have Sjögren’s syndrome. SJO helps to test patients experiencing dry eye symptoms and helps to detect Sjögren’s syndrome in its early stages. SJO ™ is an easy, quick test that involves a finger-prick for blood samples. This diagnostic panel involves the detection of traditional markers combined with three novel biomarkers which allow for earlier detection of the disease.
Because of the unknown causes of Sjögren’s syndrome treatment can only be symptomatic and involves the application of artificial tears and artificial saliva. To relieve pain in case of changes in the moving organs non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used. In more severe cases patients may be required to use corticosteroids or methotrexate.
The prognosis depends on the severity of the symptoms and the extent to which the internal organs are attacked. About 1% of patients will develop malignant lymphoma B cell within the salivary glands or the skin.