Sjogren's Syndrome is a disorder of the immune system. Two of the most common symptoms with this disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes. It is common for people that have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis to have this condition. Below you will find information about how your dry eyes can be treated to give you some relief.
Artificial tears can help you with your dry eyes. You can purchase these tears at drug stores, and your doctor may prescribe something stronger for you. When you start shopping for artificial tears, you will notice they have preservative and preservative-free products.
The preservative artificial tears have a toxin called benzalkonium chloride. Studies have been done that show this toxin is linked to adverse effects, such as damage to the ocular surface and disruption of the tear film. Because of this, manufacturers have developed preservative-free eyedrops. Talk to an eye doctor (such as one from South Park Optical) about this, who will likely ask you to choose preservative-free eyedrops for this reason.
The optometrist may also suggest you use an eye lubricant ointment at night. This product puts a protective layer of ointment over your eyes so you have relief while you are sleeping. When you wake up in the morning, your eyes will feel moist. This product can also be found preservative free.
You may be bothered by light because of this condition. To help with this, you can wear sunglasses. When purchasing glasses, the eye doctor will likely have an FL-41 filter placed on the lenses. These glasses filter out the sun's wavelengths to give you some relief. They can also help this problem if you have light sensitivity when looking at fluorescent or LED lights.
You can choose from many styles of frames, and you can find designer frames to make your sunglasses look stylish. What styles are available to you depends on your eye doctor.
If you continue to have problems with dry eyes, your optometrist may perform a surgery to plug the tear duct closed. This allows your natural tears to cover your eye for a longer period.
These plugs are tiny devices that your doctor will insert into the tear ducts to block drainage. These plugs are also known as punctal plugs.
Two types of punctal plugs your doctor will choose from include:
- Semi-permanent: These plugs are made from long lasting materials, such as silicone.
- Dissolvable: This type of plug is made of materials like collagen that your body absorbs over time.
Dissolvable plugs are typically used for someone that has temporary dry eyes, such as after an eye surgery. For your dry eye problem, the doctor will choose the semi-permanent plugs because they last longer.