Seeking Treatment for Sjogrens Syndrome in South FL
Sjogren’s Syndrome is a disorder that affects the immune system, causing dry eyes and mouth. In this syndrome, mucus membranes and glands that secrete moisture are affected around the eyes and mouth, causing decreased tear and saliva production. It often spreads to other areas needing moisture, like the nose. It is more common in women over the age of 40, but can occur in anyone. The cause of the autoimmune disorder is unknown, but starts when the immune system attacks cells and tissues in the body.
While the main symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, people sometimes also experience joint pain, swelling of the joints, and joint stiffness, swollen salivary glands, skin rashes, dry skin, vaginal dryness, prolonged fatigue, or a dry cough that is persistent. These symptoms can lead to dental cavities, yeast infections, and vision problems. Eventually, Sjogren’s can also lead to damaged joints, thyroid, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin, and nerves.
South Florida’s Leading Rheumatology Practice for Sjogrens Diagnosis
If your physician suspects Sjogren’s, they will probably refer you to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Sjogren’s in South Florida. That specialist will run blood tests to determine levels of various blood cells, the presence of certain antibodies, your blood glucose levels, evidence of inflammation, and liver and kidney issues. They will also perform eye tests that include the Shirmer test, which measures the dryness of the eyes, and a Slit-Lamp test which examines the surface of the eye. They can also perform imaging tests like sialograms, salivary scintigraphy, and chest x-rays. In order to look for inflammatory cell clusters, they may also perform a biopsy. A spit test will also allow them to determine how severe your dry mouth is. Ask a doctor experienced with the diagnosis of Sjogren’s in Hollywood or Pembroke Pines, which tests will help with your diagnosis.
See Dr. Charles Kahn or Dr. Wayne Riskin for Sjogrens Syndrome and Treatment
Once diagnosed with the syndrome by a doctor who specializes in Sjogren’s, your doctor will discuss your treatment options. Your dry eyes will probably be helped with over-the-counter drops and drinking more water will improve your dry mouth, but if your symptoms are more severe, your doctor may recommend medications that increase the production of saliva, that address specific complications, or that treat symptoms that are system-wide. Some people choose to go through a minor surgery called punctual occlusion, which seals the tear ducts that are draining tears from your eyes. If you suspect you have Sjogren’s, be sure to look up experienced doctors like Dr. Kahn and Dr. Riskin who have successfully treated patients with Sjogren’s in Broward County for decades.