Conquering Sjogren’s: Follow us on our journey to change the face of Sjogren’s

Top 5 Tips for Dry Nose and Sinuses

Posted on Thu, May 09, 2013

Patients with Sjögren’s frequently suffer from decreased mucus/nasal secretions and dryness of the nose and sinuses. Here are the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation's top 5 tips for treating your Dry Nose & Sinuses:

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  1. Try a bedroom humidifier, which generally comes in two types. While more expensive, a self-sterilizing unit is ideal in that it continuously sterilizes and cleans the steam prior to admitting it into the air. A more modestly-priced humidifier is adequate but must be cleaned at least twice a week to limit the possibility of circulating fungus in the air. For a Sjögren's patient, an optimal range of humidity is between 55-60% regardless of the ambient temperature.

  2. Enjoy high humidity environments, such as a steam bath, although remember that hot and long baths can dry out the skin.

  3. Avoid medications that increase dryness when possible. Many medications used to treat the upper respiratory tract such as decongestants and antihistamines are drying. Many other medication classes also may contribute to nasal/ sinus drying. When in doubt, check with your physician!

  4. Consider using over-the-counter (OTC) emollients such as Ponaris® to cleanse the nose, particularly if large crusts and debris are present. Also, use OTC nasal drops and buffered saline sprays regularly (as often as every hour) to lubricate the nasal passages and nasopharyns. Additionally, OTC gels such as Rhinaris® and AYR® work like sprays but last longer and are recommended particularly at night prior to going to sleep.

  5. Discuss the prescription medications Salagen® and Evoxac® with your physician. These have been shown to help Sjogren's patients with dry mouth, and potential added benefits for dry nose, sinuses and nasopharynx should be considered.

Share with us below what tips you’ve found the most helpful when treating symptoms associated with dry nose and sinuses.

Topics: Sjogren's, Symptoms, Top 5 Tips, Dry Nose, Sinuses

Our Top 5 Tips for Raynaud's Syndrome

Posted on Tue, Mar 05, 2013

Raynaud’s Syndrome occurs in approximately 15-30% of patients with Sjögren’s.

Raynaud’s Syndrome (sometimes called Raynaud’s phenomenon) is defined as repeated episodes of color changes in the fingers and/or toes with exposure to cold temperatures or during episodes of emotional stress. The color changes are due to a spasm of the blood vessels that feed the fingers and toes. The digits typically turn very white, then can take on a bluish color with prolonged exposure to the cold, and finally can turn very red as blood flow resumes.

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation's Top 5 Tips to control your Raynaud's Syndrome:raynauds phenom

  1. If you have access to water when a flare starts, run warm water over your fingers and toes until skin color returns to normal.

  2. Do not smoke — this constricts the blood vessels that feed the hands and feet.

  3. Moisturize your hands and feet every day to prevent your skin from cracking.

  4. When your hands or feet start to feel cold, wiggle your fingers and toes, move your arms and legs around to get blood flowing, or put your hands under your armpits to warm them up.

  5. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Several medications can be used to help the vessels stay dilated, including a class of blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockers. Some medicines, such as beta blockers used for high blood pressure, may make Raynaud’s worse.

These Tips are from the SSF Patient Education Sheet: Raynaud's Syndrome- Click here to view the full sheet

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Topics: Sjogren's, Symptoms, Raynauds, Top 5 Tips

Patients Sharing with Patients: Makeup and Skin Care Tips

Posted on Tue, Jan 22, 2013

Sjögren's is a systemic disease with its symptoms felt throughout the entire body. While dry skin, dry nails and dry hair are not among the serious manifestations of Sjögren's, they are prevalent in many patients’ lives.

Learning to live with Sjögren's is learning what your body's new normal is- including what type of daily skin products and makeup one uses. Recently the Foundation has received a lot of questions about this topic and since some of the best tips the Foundation knows have come from patients, we want to hear from you!

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  • What makeup and skin care products have you found that work well with your Sjögren's?

  • What type of shampoo would you recommend?

  • As a male patient, what aftershave or face moisturizer do you use?

  • Is there a nail polish that works best for you?

Just as one type of eye drop may work well for one patient but not another, you will need to discover what works best for your body.

Please comment below and share with us what you would suggest.

 

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Topics: Sjogren's, Top 5 Tips, Makeup Tips, coping with sjogren's

Top 5 Tips for Treating Dry Eye

Posted on Fri, Oct 05, 2012

  • eye dropsTry ointments or gels at bedtime by first applying them only to the eyelids and lashes. If that is not helpful, place ~1/4 inch of ointment between the lower lid and eyeball. Because it blurs their vision, some individuals may not like using it.

  • If you are bothered by light, wear sunglasses or try lenses with a FL-41 filter.

  • Apply a warm, wet compress to the closed eyes using a washcloth heated in tolerably warm water from the sink or shower. Apply at bedtime and upon awakening for 5 minutes or more often if desired.

  • When starting a new, preservative-free artificial tear, use the drops every 1-2 hours for at least two weeks before reducing frequency of use. When you taper their use, see if your symptoms worsen. It often is easier to determine feeling worse than better.

  • Use non-preserved artificial tears frequently and regularly, even when your eyes feel good. Don’t wait until your eyes are uncomfortable.

Click here to see more tips for treating dry eye

Share with us below what tips you’ve found the most helpful when treating dry eye.

Topics: Dry Eyes, Sjogren's, Treatment, Top 5 Tips

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