View Full Version : sjogrens dry eyes or allergies

03-23-2011, 10:20 AM
How does one tell if it's allergy dry eyes or sjogren's? My eyes here in high mount desert of colorado are gritting and sometimes dry and hurt. It is relieved by lubricating drops. I read somewhere it should be preservative free but I can't read the fine print to know. I make more store people read signs as I am at war with those blasted people who print small. Along with it is a dry almost cracked feeling in my throat and I come to the point of gagging. I recently figure out that the reason I pee all the time is I drink water all the time as my mouth is dry but I do seem to hang my mouth open as my nose is stuffy. The doc said no diabetes so that's not the thirst. I was so bad about too much water I washed out the postassium and caused chest pain and went to the ER. All the muscles were depleted of potassium and hurt.

Does the fact I swish Biotene mouth moisturizer give you a hint? I do have skin yuckies in my mouth maybe from mouth breathing but may be a rash, skin raised, sloughing off.

So the rheuny said try Zytec for allergies. I felt it wasn't allergies but will give some sudafed a try. I all ready do benedryl some nights for sleep and combat a bit of itchies from tramadol. The dryness gets a bit worse with benedryl but not much.

So I guess it can't hurt to just do lubricating eye drops regardless of the cause because gritting eyes have got to be the cornea screaming I'm getting injured.

Since moving to CO from Mass. I have reduced my allergies to miniscule but no doubt allergies are auto immune thing anyway.

I have the Lupus blood tests soon. Feeling very tired and achey today. Getting to see a pattern of doing a bit much and next day fatigue. I am stressing less about the neglected housework making sure the most important is healthy meals for me.

I have heard of a mouth biopsy/lower lip for sjogrens.

Thanks all

Teresa in CO

03-23-2011, 10:56 AM
There is a specific blood test they can do to test for Sjogrens. Also if your eyes are bothering you I'd go to your eye doctor and tell them. There's things they can look at too like tear production where they stick these paper strips in your eyes (numbed) for 5 min and see how many tears you produce and they can check for inflammation in your eyes. They might be able to give you some better eye drops. And with the dry mouth thats the same thing I use that my dentist has told me to use. You can also get artificial saliva and tears I believe.

03-23-2011, 11:15 AM
Hello Teresa,

I'd definitely wait to see what your results come back as but also get tested for sjogrens disease.

Your Rheumo can get your eyes tested they do it with a strip of paper leaned on the flatness of the eye inside and after 5mins it gives the results, as i've got sjogren's and get the gritty feeling and they've done my eyes twice and my reading came 6/10 but i was told when it's 2 or 3 out of 10 that's when theres alot of concern and also sjogren's makes you dry but where you drink water i'm a tea lover.

I'd really push it teresa for a sjogren's test.

Terri xxx

03-23-2011, 02:15 PM

I have sjogren's and I agree with the others, you need to get tested. Using the lubricating drops help the eyes, also there are aids for your eyes at night when they can really dry out. There are meds that help with sjogren's and the mouth dryness. You want to see an opthamologist and have your eyes tested. You don't want to wait and get a corneal abrasion, I have had them and believe me it is no fun. During allergy season things can get pretty uncomfortable due to dryness and the pollen. Get an appt, as soon as possible. Here are two websites for sjogren's that are very helpful www. sjogren's world.com and www. sjogren's foundation.com check them out.

03-25-2011, 08:00 PM
Thanks Guys, I have the blood test papers for Sjogrens. I have to pay first and the doc was out this past week, poor lady was sick. I will see her monday to pay and they get the blood test. It's about 1/3 the cost to pay my doc first.

So for the eye doc is that the one where you want to have eyes checked for glasses can he do the paper strip? Or it is the opthamologist? It would have been nice if the rheumy did it as I already paid more than $60 for the visit.

Some times my eyes are dry and sometimes when I lay on my side the eye leaks tears almost like the tears are normal but due to the swelling in the tear duct doesn't drain the tears.

Maybe herbal tea with honey would be better to drink than water. Wouldn't the honey coat better? I bet there's even a tea that has mucus/moisturizing like properties, probably gross, lol I think Slippery Elm is a throat coat kinda think. I think there is even " throat coat" drops.

When I had a cold and was real dry from hanging my moth open I used Biotene. They gave it to my daughter in the hospital. I used it when she was unconscious. It was soothing to mouth wounds from the car crash. Biotene seems to coat your mouth, must keep the tissues protected from overdrying, mouth decay.

So I'm just hanging out till the blood test is done. Anyone know how long it takes?


The end result I'm thinking is the doc would say get some lubricating drops. Or really bad use Restasis to make tears. I have had corneal abrasions from scrating my eye and know how horrible painfull they are so i know it's going to be important to fix the dry eyes.

Does the plaquinil address the dry eyes at all? Does it quiet down the dry eyes symptoms?

03-25-2011, 11:26 PM
You've gotten some really good advice here. I have Sjogren's too. The test with the paper strips is called the Schirmer's test and an ophthalmologist can do it. Mine started me on Restasis, which really helped. The problem is that it is expensive, even with insurance. It comes in little sealed vials and says to only use each vial once. That wastes a lot of drops. My doc told me that it is OK to use each vial two or three times, as long as I seal it back up (the top pops back on) and keep it in the plastic container. Some people even keep the container in the fridge. Systane eye drops can help in between doses of Restasis. Some people have claimed that Plaquenil has helped dry eyes, but I haven't found that to be true. The rheumy can also prescribe Pilocarpine, which helps you to make more saliva, and some have claimed that it helps with other dryness, too.
I've had the blood tests and a high SSA and/or SSB can indicate Sjogren's. I've also had the lip biopsy. It's best to get this done at a teaching hospital where the docs are familiar with doing it, and the labs know how to read it properly. Biotene makes lots of useful products - toothpaste, mouthwash and drops.
You're also right about slippery elm. We use Throat Coat tea by Traditional Medicinals for sore throats all of the time. I used to sing with a semi-professional group, and I drank a lot of it back then.
If you can get the lab to send you a copy of your lab report, maybe you can see it as quickly as the doc does.
Hope this helps!

BTW - My daughter and grandson were both chronic asthmatics and had severe allergies when we were all living in Texas. They now live in Denver, and they are both off of their meds! I live in CA, right on the coast, and I no longer have to take Allegra - Yeah!

03-26-2011, 11:29 AM
Hi Teresa,

Nice to hear your getting your eyes tested besides your bloods being done, please keep we updated with your results and i wish you all the very best with the tests and results.

Terri xxx