A few years ago, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it turns out this was only the start of my troubles. Over the past few months, I began to notice an unusual dryness in my mouth and eyes. At first, I simply chalked it up to my environment – I do live in the Southwest, after all – and tried to drink more water.
As time wore on, however, and the dryness became more and more severe, it began to get pretty aggravating – particularly with my eyes. I could drink water until it was coming out my ears, but it certainly wasn't keeping my eyes moist. The gritty, burning sensation just wouldn't go away, to the point where I could hardly do or think about anything else!
Finally, the next time I went to see my rheumatologist, I brought up the dryness in my mouth and eyes. Was this a side effect of my medication? Why wasn't it going away?
My doctor seemed concerned, so he ran a few tests. He told me that the mouth and eye dryness I was experiencing – even my joint pain – all may have the same cause, an autoimmune condition called Sjögren's Syndrome.
I'd never heard of Sjögren's Syndrome before, but my doctor said as many as 4 million Americans are affected by it, most of them women my age. He explained that, in people with Sjögren's, white blood cells mistakenly attack certain moisture-producing glands in the body, leading to uncomfortable dryness. While the most common symptoms of Sjögren's are mouth and eye dryness, it can also lead to joint pain and fatigue.
The tests came back, and it seemed I did indeed have Sjögren's Syndrome. Now, that's hardly what I'd call good news, but at least I finally knew what I was dealing with. Because its symptoms are easily confused with other conditions, Sjögren's can be hard to recognize. And the way I see it, knowing is always better than not.
Currently there's no cure for Sjögren's Syndrome, but my rheumatologist told me there are things I could do for its symptoms. He'd continue to help me with my joint pain, of course, but he recommended I see a dentist for my dry mouth and an ophthalmologist for my dry eyes. In the meantime, to help keep my dry eyes lubricated and comfortable, he recommended I use SYSTANE® ULTRA Lubricant Eye Drops.
I talked to my eye doctor, and wouldn't you know it, she recommended SYSTANE® ULTRA as well. She said that SYSTANE® ULTRA provides the long-lasting moisture and protection to help relieve the symptoms of dry eye.
I tried SYSTANE® ULTRA and finally found some relief for my dry eyes. I use it most days, even when my eyes aren't uncomfortable, just to make sure I continue to feel my best.
This is only my story. SYSTANE® ULTRA Lubricant Eye Drops may not work for everyone, but it helped me, and it may help you.
*Inspired by real-life experiences.Back to the Top