Sjogren's Syndrome and Dry Eyes
Several complications are often associated with Sjogren's syndrome, and dry eyes are one of the most common. You may feel like you have sand in your eye, or the eyes may burn or itch. Treatment options for someone with Sjogren's syndrome and dry eyes can include artificial tears, eye ointment, lacriserts, and surgery.
Dry eyes are one of the most common symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome. With this symptom, eyes may be red and burn and itch. People say it feels like they have sand in their eyes. Also, vision may be blurry, and bright light (especially fluorescent lighting) might be bothersome.
Treatment options for someone with dry eyes and Sjogren's syndrome can include:
- Artificial tears
- Eye ointment
Artificial tears can help with dry eyes. They come in different thicknesses, so you may have to experiment to find the right one. Some drops contain preservatives that might irritate your eyes. Drops without preservatives don't usually bother the eyes. Non-preserved tears typically come in single-dose packages to prevent contamination from bacteria.
At night, an eye ointment might provide more relief for dry eyes. Ointments are thicker than artificial tears, and can moisturize and protect the eye for several hours. They may blur your vision, however, which is why some people prefer to use them while they sleep.
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (lacriserts) is a chemical that lubricates the surface of the eye and slows down the evaporation of natural tears. This dry eye treatment comes in a small pellet that you put in your lower eyelid. When you add artificial tears, the pellet dissolves and forms a film over your own tears, which traps the moisture.