Slideshows Images Quizzes
font size

Sjögren's Syndrome

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Sjögren's syndrome facts

  • Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease of salivary and tear glands.
  • Sjögren's syndrome involves inflammation of glands and other tissues of the body.
  • Most patients with Sjögren's syndrome are female.
  • Sjögren's syndrome can be complicated by infections of the eyes, breathing passages, and mouth.
  • Sjögren's syndrome is typically associated with antibodies against a variety of body tissues (autoantibodies).
  • A health care professional can diagnose Sjögren's syndrome with a saliva-gland biopsy.
  • Treatment of patients with Sjögren's syndrome is directed toward relieving symptoms and complications in the particular areas of the body that are involved, such as the eyes, mouth, and vagina.

What is Sjögren's syndrome?

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by dryness of the mouth and eyes. Autoimmune diseases feature the abnormal production of extra antibodies in the blood that are directed against various tissues of the body. The misdirected immune system in autoimmunity tends to lead to inflammation of tissues. This particular autoimmune illness features inflammation and dysfunction in glands of the body that are responsible for producing tears and saliva. Inflammation of the glands that produce tears (lacrimal glands) leads to decreased water production for tears and dry eyes. Inflammation of the glands that produce the saliva in the mouth (salivary glands, including the parotid glands) leads to decreased saliva production and dry mouth and dry lips.

Sjögren's syndrome with gland inflammation (resulting in dry eyes and mouth, etc.) that is not associated with another connective tissue disease is referred to as primary Sjögren's syndrome. Sjögren's syndrome that is also associated with a connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma, is referred to as secondary Sjögren's syndrome. Dryness of eyes and mouth, in patients with or without Sjögren's syndrome, is sometimes referred to as sicca syndrome.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2017


Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors