Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Many Sjogren's syndrome symptoms respond well to self-care measures.

To relieve dry eyes:

  • Use artificial tears, an eye lubricant or both. Artificial tears — in eyedrop form — and eye lubricants — in eyedrop, gel or ointment form — help relieve the discomfort of dry eyes. You don't have to apply eye lubricants as often as artificial tears. Because of their thicker consistency, eye lubricants can blur your vision and collect on your eyelashes, so you might want to use them only overnight.

    Your doctor might recommend artificial tears without preservatives, which can irritate the eyes of people with dry eye syndrome.

  • Increase humidity. Increasing the indoor humidity and reducing your exposure to blowing air can help keep your eyes and mouth from getting uncomfortably dry. For example, avoid sitting in front of a fan or air conditioning vent, and wear goggles or protective eyewear when you go outdoors.

To help with dry mouth:

  • Don't smoke. Smoking can irritate and dry out your mouth.
  • Increase your fluid intake. Take sips of fluids, particularly water, throughout the day. Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol since they can worsen dry mouth symptoms. Also avoid acidic beverages such as colas and some sports drinks because the acid can harm the enamel of your teeth.
  • Stimulate saliva flow. Sugarless gum or citrus-flavored hard candies can boost saliva flow. Because Sjogren's syndrome increases your risk of dental cavities, limit sweets, especially between meals.
  • Try artificial saliva. Saliva replacement products often work better than plain water because they contain a lubricant that helps your mouth stay moist longer. These products come as a spray or lozenge.
  • Use nasal saline spray. A nasal saline spray can help moisturize and clear nasal passages so that you can breathe freely through your nose. A dry, stuffy nose can increase mouth breathing.

Oral health

Dry mouth increases your risk of dental cavities and tooth loss. To help prevent those types of problems:

  • Brush your teeth and floss after every meal
  • Schedule regular dental appointments, at least every six months
  • Use daily topical fluoride treatments and antimicrobial mouthwashes

Other areas of dryness

If dry skin is a problem, avoid hot water when you bathe and shower. Pat your skin — don't rub — with a towel, and apply moisturizer when your skin is still damp. Use rubber gloves when doing dishes or housecleaning. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants help women who have vaginal dryness.

Aug. 09, 2017
References
  1. Sjogren's syndrome. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/Sjogrens_Syndrome/sjogrens_syndrome_ff.asp. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  2. Baer AN. Diagnosis and classification of Sjogren's syndrome. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  3. Sjogren's syndrome. American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Sjogrens-Syndrome. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  4. Sjogren's syndrome. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/sjogrens-syndrome/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  5. Sjogren's syndrome. Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. http://www.sjogrens.org/home/about-sjogrens/symptoms. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  6. Baer AN. Treatment of dry mouth and other non-ocular sicca symptoms in Sjögren's syndrome. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.