Sjögren's Syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease that targets the moistureproducing gland in the mouth and the eyes. Sjögren's syndrome often accompanies other autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s also causes serious complications throughout the entire body, Sjögren’s may be responsible for dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain.

Sjögren’s syndrome is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders. Today, more than four million Americans are living with the disease and nine out of ten patients are women. The average age for onset of this disease is late forties.

Sjögren’s syndrome with gland inflammation (resulting dry eyes and mouth, etc.) that is not associated with another connective tissue disease is referred to as primary Sjögren’s syndrome. Sjögren’s that is also associated with a connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma, is referred to as secondary Sjögren’s syndrome.

All instances of Sjögren’s syndrome are systemic, affecting the entire body. Symptoms may remain steady, worsen, or, uncommonly, go into remission. While some people experience mild discomfort, others suffer debilitating symptoms that greatly impair their ability to function. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important — they may prevent serious complications and greatly improve a patient’s quality of life. There in no cure for Sjögren’s; it is a lifelong condition. The goal of treatment is to mitigate symptoms.

Symptoms of Sjögren’s Syndrome:


  • Red, burning, itching and/or dry eyes.
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry skin, nose, and throat
  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Skin rashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Joint and muscle pain



HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

For general information or to schedule an appointment, call 212.305.4308. You may need a doctor's referral; please consult with your insurance provider prior to your appointment to ensure your visit will be covered under your policy.

Your appointment

  • To prepare for your appointment, make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. Include the dosage and frequency with which you take them. Please bring the list with you to your appointment.
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  • It is not necessary to fast for your first visit, unless you are instructed to do so by the doctor.
  • If you are not a current Columbia/NYP patient, please bring your outside medical records with you or ask your doctor to fax them to us at 212.342.6835.
  • A brief medication information form will need to be completed at each visit.
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