Sjogren’s syndrome is a medical disorder classified as an autoimmune disease. The body’s own immune system attacks the treat ducts and salivary glands. The effect of the disorder is widespread. The glands will become inflamed and would lead to less production of tears and saliva. This will give the Sjogren’s syndrome its main symptoms, dry eyes and dry mouth. Additional symptoms will form such as dry eyes will lead to:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Dry cough
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing
- Sore throat
- Oral thrush that leads to coated or white tongue
Secondary symptoms will occur from dry eyes:
- Tired eyes
- Photophobia or heightened sensitivity to light
- Feeling of grit in your eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Inflamed eyelids
All of these symptoms will get worse if an individual suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome is exposed in an air-conditioned building, smoky or windy environments and while traveling.
If left untreated, Sjorgren’s syndrome can become severe, which will involve all other glands that also secrete fluid. Women who have the condition may suffer from vaginal dryness. Other symptoms include:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Joint stiffness and swelling resulting in pain
- Difficulty in remembering and reasoning
There is no known cause of Sjogren’s syndrome, but the condition is listed as another abnormality in the immune system. Researchers believed that genetic factors and external factors contribute to the development of Sjogren’s syndrome. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infections and other harmful organisms. The immune system produces antibodies to fight off the bacteria and viruses. In Sjogren’s syndrome, the antibodies attack the tear, salivary vaginal glands, and the exocrine glands, causing these glands to malfunction.
If you think you are suffering from Sjorgren’s Syndrome you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Sjorgren’s Syndrome as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).