Sjögren's Syndrome Symptoms

As a community-based optometrist, Dr. [token-primary-doc-lastname] recognizes the significance of raising awareness about the symptoms of sjogren's syndrome, an often-neglected autoimmune disorder that affects millions globally. Numerous patients visit our clinic, unaware of the potential effects this condition can have on their eyes, which is why we are committed to providing education and information to our patients.

Sjögren's Syndrome Symptoms in Hixson

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Symptoms of Sjögren's Syndrome

Sjogren's Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own moisture-producing glands, including the tear and saliva glands. This results in a range of symptoms, many of which are related to the eyes. In fact, nearly half of the 4 million Americans living with sjogren's syndrome experience ocular manifestations, making it crucial for patients to recognize these symptoms and seek appropriate care from our eye care professional. The following are some key ocular symptoms associated with sjogren's syndrome:

Dry eyes

One of the most common symptoms of sjogren's syndrome is dry eyes, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This condition occurs when the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough tears to keep the eyes moist, resulting in itchiness, redness, and a gritty sensation in the eyes. In severe cases, dry eyes can lead to corneal abrasions and even vision loss. Learn more about dry eyes here.

Eye pain and sensitivity

Many patients with sjogren's syndrome experience eye pain, often described as a burning or stinging sensation. This discomfort can be exacerbated by sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, making it difficult for those affected to spend time outdoors or in brightly lit environments.

Blurred vision

Due to the lack of moisture on the ocular surface, sjogren's syndrome can cause blurred or fluctuating vision. This symptom is often more pronounced in the morning or after periods of prolonged visual focus, such as reading or using a computer. Learn more about blurred vision here.

Eye infections

The decreased tear production associated with sjogren's syndrome impairs the eyes' natural defense mechanisms, making them more susceptible to infections such as conjunctivitis or blepharitis. These infections can cause red, swollen, and watery eyes, as well as crusting and discharge.

Corneal ulcerations

In severe cases, the chronic dryness and inflammation caused by sjogren's syndrome can lead to corneal ulcerations, which are open sores on the surface of the eye. If left untreated, these ulcerations can result in permanent scarring and vision loss. Learn more about corneal ulcers here.

Filamentary keratitis

This is a rare but potentially debilitating condition where strands of mucus or cellular debris, known as filaments, adhere to the cornea's surface. These filaments can cause significant discomfort, foreign body sensation, and even corneal abrasions.

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)

Sjogren's syndrome can affect the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oily layer of the tear film. MGD can result in an unstable tear film, causing increased evaporation of tears and exacerbating dry eye symptoms. Learn more about meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) here.

Episcleritis and scleritis

Inflammation of the episclera (the outer layer of the sclera) or the sclera itself can cause red, painful, and swollen eyes. Although rare, scleritis can be a severe and potentially sight-threatening complication of sjogren's syndrome.

Punctal stenosis

Chronic inflammation associated with sjogren's syndrome can lead to narrowing or even closure of the tear duct openings (puncta), further aggravating dry eye symptoms.

Retinal vasculitis

This is an inflammation of the blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to vision loss if not treated promptly. While relatively rare in sjogren's syndrome, retinal vasculitis is a severe ocular manifestation that requires immediate attention.

Neurotrophic keratitis

In some cases, sjogren's syndrome can affect the nerves responsible for corneal sensation and healing, leading to a condition called neurotrophic keratitis. This can cause persistent corneal epithelial defects, which can be challenging to treat and may lead to vision loss.


Although less common, sjogren's syndrome can cause inflammation of the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye, composed of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. Uveitis can result in pain, light sensitivity, and blurred vision, and if left untreated, can cause permanent vision loss.

Given the extensive list of ocular symptoms that can be associated with sjogren's syndrome, it is essential to remain vigilant and consult with our eye care professional if you experience any unusual or persistent eye-related issues. Our clinic is dedicated to providing comprehensive eye care for patients with Sjogren's Syndrome and other ocular conditions, working closely with other healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients.

How can I find an eye doctor near me?

If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist or you live too far from our optometry clinic in Hixson, you could start your online search by typing in phrases such as "eye doctor near me," "optometrist near me," or "dry eye specialist near me."

How can I find an eye doctor near me?
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Schedule a Dry Eye Evaluation in Hixson

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be experiencing ocular symptoms related to sjogren's syndrome, don't hesitate to contact our office and schedule a consultation. Our team of dedicated professionals is here to help you manage your symptoms, protect your vision, and improve your overall quality of life. Don't wait; call us today at (423) 710 3965 and take the first step toward better eye health.

Patients with dry eye visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of dry eye services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

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Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

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When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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