The most commonly reported symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome are a dry mouth and eyes, which can lead to other associated symptoms.
However, these symptoms can be common in old age, and most people with dry eyes or a dry mouth do not have Sjögren’s syndrome.
Many women also experience vaginal dryness, which can make sex painful.
Associated symptoms of dry mouth
A dry mouth can lead to:
difficulty swallowing and chewing
swollen salivary glands (located between your jaw and ears)
Associated symptoms of dry eyes
Dry eyes can lead to:
burning or stinging eyes
a feeling that there’s grit in your eyes
irritated and swollen eyelids
sensitivity to light (photophobia)
mucus discharge from your eyes
These symptoms can get worse when you’re:
in a windy or smoky environment
in an air-conditioned building
travelling on aeroplane
Other symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome
In more serious cases of Sjögren’s syndrome, the immune system can attack other parts of the body, causing symptoms and conditions such as:
tiredness and fatigue – which are common and can lead to total exhaustion
joint pain, stiffness and swelling
vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
difficulty concentrating, remembering and reasoning