Health Library

Sjögren's syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome (say "SHOH-grins") is a disease in which the immune system attacks the body's glands that make moisture. This disease may cause the tear and saliva glands to become scarred and damaged. It can cause extreme dryness in the eyes and mouth.

Sjögren's syndrome is most common in women who are older than 40.

People with Sjögren's syndrome usually have a dry mouth that makes it hard to swallow and dry eyes that cause eye pain. In severe cases, they may have scarring of the covering of the eye (cornea). Sjögren's syndrome may also cause fatigue, joint pain, and problems with the function of vital organs.

Though there is no cure for Sjögren's syndrome, treating symptoms can offer relief for many people. For example, artificial tears can be used to moisten the eyes, and mouth lubricants and saliva substitutes can help to moisten the mouth and throat.