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pharmacygirl34
04-25-2005, 06:04 PM
A new symptom that has presented itself just recently is my eyes seem to be drying up. It is quite bothersome. Coupled with the vision loss and the blurry vision to the peripheral sides of both eyes and then adding the dryness EEEEEEEEEE, what do you do? I am finding it more difficult to deal with each symptom because they seem overwhelming at times. Now my mouth is not producing the saliva that it use to and I am finding it harder and harder at times to swallow. Does anyone else have these symptoms? What did your rheumy suggest to you? HELP, I am falling apart and am out of superglue. All thats left is duct tape. YIKES. Any how please post something if any of you have had this or similar problems. I am wanting to get well and keep finding more things that want to keep me down. Would love to hear your response.
Angela

deejaym
04-26-2005, 06:17 AM
Hi Angela,

Sorry to hear that you are dealing with this problem. I have been dealing with dry eyes for a while now and have been using an eye lubricant, Hypotears, recommended by my eye doctor. I have thought that my dry eyes was due to my diabetes but recently learned it may not be all diabetes related. I find Hypotears to be a bit more expensive but worth it.

I hope you find some relief.

Saysusie
05-03-2005, 04:38 AM
Hi Angela;
There is a syndrome known as "Sjogren's Syndrome". You may or may not have this syndrome. I would suggest that you talk to your doctor about your symptoms so that a diagnosis can be made and treatment started.
Here is some information about Sjogren's Syndrome so that you can better judge if they fit you:
Sjogren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva do not function correctly. The disease may lead to eye and mucosal dryness. Sjogren's syndrome can occur alone or in association with other autoimmune diseases, most commonly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Several studies have shown various differences between people with Sjogren's syndrome alone and those with Sjogren's syndrome and another connective tissue disease. Because of these differences:
1. Sjogren's syndrome is termed primary Sjogren's syndrome when it occurs by itself.
2. When associated with another connective tissue disease, such as SLE or RA, it is termed secondary Sjogren's syndrome.
Eye involvement is the other major manifestation of Sjogren's syndrome. People often complain of a sandy or gritty feeling in their eyes, especially in the morning. Other eye symptoms that may be present include:
* decreased tearing
* redness
* itching
* photosensitivity, due to the loss of the lining cells of the conjunctiva, a condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
The other symptom most associated with Sjogren's syndrome is mouth dryness. Other oral symptoms that may be present include:
* burning of the tongue
* cracking of the tongue
* increased dental caries (cavities)
* trouble swallowing
* difficulty speaking without the use of continued lubrication.

Fluid intake is often necessary both with and between meals because of the decrease in salivary gland secretion. The parotid glands (major salivary glands located behind the jaw) may be enlarged and painful swelling may also be noted.
Treatment for Sjogren's syndrome attempts to relieve the effects of chronic dryness of the mouth and eyes by increasing the lubrication and moisturization of the affected tissues:
1. Artificial tears in various forms help replace decreased tear production. However, artificial tears containing preservatives may cause irritation.
2. Plugging the lacrimal (tear) ducts with temporary or longer lasting collagen plugs, can be very effective in increasing moisture of the conjunctiva and cornea. Various other experimental agents are being developed.
3. Local oral agents have been used for continuing lubrication in the mouth, but with limited success.
4. Don't smoke. Avoid second-hand smoke, direct wind, and air conditioning.
5. Use a humidifier, especially in the winter.

I hope that I have been helpful
Peace and Blessings
Saysusie