Sjögren’s syndrome is underdiagnosed and seriously impacts the ocular surface and quality of life and places the patient at risk for multisystem involvement. Optometry’s role in identification, diagnosis and collaborative long-term management is an important one. Earlier attention to symptoms leading to diagnosis and collaboration with other health professionals will ensure better quality of life for our patients.
Sjögren syndrome is a systemic multi-organ autoimmune disease that results in chronic inflammation. Progressive B-cell and T-cell infiltration of the exocrine organs primarily targets the lacrimal and salivary glands. This results in the classic presentation of dry eye and dry mouth symptoms. Eyecare providers and oral care providers are in a distinctive situation in which we may be the first to identify Sjögren patients.
A mild topical corticosteroid may be effective in treating the symptoms of Sjögren’s disease without causing the adverse effects associated with higher-dose steroids. Findings from a pilot study also suggest that ocular surface metrology is useful in evaluating the effects of the steroid.
2015 may be noted as a year of emergence for sustained-release drug delivery therapies for dry eye and glaucoma, according to Jonathan H. Talamo, MD, Boston.
Cornea specialists have always appreciated the need to treat dry eye, “but it’s now becoming more and more appreciated and the importance of underlying dry eye and drying is so ubiquitous,” said Ernest W. Kornmehl, MD, Brookline, MA.
Are you providing the highest level of care for your dry eye patients? Testing with all the latest methods, osmolarity, MMP-9, TearScience’s LipiView, to name a few? Treating will a full armamentarium, specialized artificial tears, hot compresses, cyclosporine, steroids, punctual plugs, and more?
Lupus, dry mouth, and arthritis aren’t usually associated with optometry, but it may well need to become a necessary part of any optometrist's knowledge base as awareness of Sjögren's syndrome becomes more prevalent, reported Dr. Milton M. Hom, OD, FAAO, at his most recent seminar at Vision Expo West.