Donate to Sjögren’s Syndrome Research, Patient Care and Education
Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. It ultimately causes damage to the tear ducts and salivary glands leading to dryness in many parts of the body, among other symptoms. Northwestern Medicine needs your support in ongoing research devoted to improving diagnosis and treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome.
While the exact cause of Sjögren’s syndrome is not known, it occurs predominantly in women. People who have other autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may also have an increased risk.
Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help fund much-needed research aimed at prevention, cure, and relief of suffering from Sjögren’s syndrome. By providing patient-centered, integrated care guided by research-based evidence, we can gain a better understanding, and make a difference in the lives of those affected by this autoimmune disorder.
The most common symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome included dry eyes and dry mouth. Some people may also have difficulty swallowing or talking. Other symptoms may include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Tingling in the arms or legs
- Dry skin and/or skin rash
- Joint or muscle pain
- Chronic, dry cough
- Dry throat
- Dry nasal passages
Through research efforts at Northwestern Medicine, important breakthroughs often lead to new medical treatments. While there is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, there are tests to identify it and treatments to help mediate the symptoms. With the support of Northwestern Memorial Foundation’s generous patrons, we hope to one day find a cure as a result of our ongoing research efforts. In the meantime, we are busy discovering new ways to improve treatment and alleviate suffering caused by this rheumatic disease.
While there is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, Northwestern Medicine specialists help patients find relief from the symptoms using various approaches.
Treatments for dry eyes may include:
- Artificial tears (over-the-counter eye drops)
- Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation
- Eye-lubricating ointments
- Punctal occlusion, minor surgery to insert small plugs in the eyes that slow the rate at which tears drain from the eyes
Treatments for dry mouth may include:
- Drinking more fluids
- Sucking on sugar-free hard candies
- Prescription medications to increase the production of saliva
Treatments for other symptoms may include:
- Nasal sprays
- Vaginal lubricants
Sjögren’s Syndrome Research, Patient Care and Education Donation
Our multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses are dedicated to improving the health of those living with autoimmune disorders like Sjögren’s syndrome. By supporting Northwestern Medicine with a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help ensure more autoimmune disorder sufferers will be linked to the appropriate care. Your continued support helps us raise awareness in local communities, improve our understanding of this disease, and ultimately find new ways to treat, diagnose, and—hopefully one day—find a cure for Sjogren’s syndrome.