If you have Sjogren's syndrome, you can experience a number of symptoms that affect your eyes and mouth, including dryness. Although mouth rinses and dental cleanings may improve the dryness in your mouth, you may still have problems with your eyes. Dry eyes can lead to a number of problems, including blurred vision and reddened eyes, especially if you work on computers during the day. An ophthalmologist can offer relief with prescription eye drops that moisturize the surfaces of your eyes. You can also massage your eyes to help find relief.

What's Sjogren's Syndrome and How Can an Ophthalmologist Help You?

One of the biggest problems with Sjogren's syndrome is that it affects your immune system. The cells in your immune system attack the cells and tissues of your organs, including the glands in your eyes that produce fluids or tears. When Sjogren's syndrome develops, your tear ducts no longer release enough moisture in your eyes to fight off inflammation or keep out infectious bacteria.

Sjogren's syndrome can worsen if you have another autoimmune condition that affects your eyes, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis weakens the tissues that support your tear ducts. Because of this issue, your tear ducts may not have the strength or capability to make fluids. 

Although there's no cure for Sjogren's syndrome or its symptoms, an eye doctor can prescribe medications, such as lubricating eye drops, to treat you. The eye drops may vary in strength, depending on how severe your dry eyes are. In addition, an ophthalmologist may confer with your medical doctor about your condition. If you experience any changes in your medical health, the eye doctor can adjust the strength of your eye medications to accommodate those changes.

What Can You Do at Home to Ease Your Dry Eyes?

Taking care of your eyes at home is critical. One of the things you can do is massage the tissues around your eyes every night. The massage releases the fluids that build up inside your lymph vessels. Lymph vessels work very closely with your immune system and blood to remove pathogens and excess fluids from your body's cells. The vessels store the fluids in small tissues called nodes.

If the lymph nodes around your eyes build up with too many things, they create pressure that suppresses the tissues of your tear ducts. Your eyes can feel itchy, dry and irritated from the pressure. Emptying the lymph nodes may help you find some relief at night and during the day. 

Here's what you do:

  1. Moisturize your forehead and cheeks with vitamin E oil. The oil will reduce friction on your skin during the massage.
  2. Place your pointer fingers between your eyebrows.
  3. Glide your fingertips along the ridges of your eyebrows and beneath your eyes until they end at the inner corners of your eyes. 
  4. Repeat step three 15 times.
  5. Place your fingertips near the bridge of your nose, then lightly brush them across the bony ridges of your cheekbones. Do this step 10 times.

You should feel the pressure release from your lymph nodes immediately. For the best results, do the massage each night.

For more information about your dry eyes or treatments, contact an ophthalmologist today.