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Arthritis and Rheumatism

What is sicca syndrome?

03/05/2007

Question:

My doctor said I had sicca syndrome, and fibromalgia. The skin under my eyelids aches, and it is hard to see, because my vision is blurred. The doctor told me to use a saline solution in my eyes, and made my next appointment in six months. How do I find a good brand? And what ingredients should I look for?

Also, my esophagus is very dry and I cough all the time. So I carry a water bottle with me. Is there any over the counter medicine that would help? (And my nasal passages are so dry that I have bloddy crusts in my nose and it burns. What should I use?)

Answer:

The following is a list of ingredients used in different eyecare products. Clinical trials of these ingredients have demonstrated some benefit for dry eye symptoms.

Another consideration is the use of eyedrops with preservatives. While the preservatives are helpful in preventing bacterial contamination (helpful for multi-use vials), many people with dry eye symptoms find the preservatives cause an uncomfortable burning or stinging sensation. If you cannot tolerate eyedrops with preservatives, then choose a preparation that is preservative-free. Typically, preservative-free eyedrops are packaged in single- or limited-use containers.

There are over-the-counter (OTC) products for dry mouth symptoms. One example is the biotène product line that includes mouthwash, gum, toothpaste, and oral gels.

Related Resources:

Dry Eye Syndrome
Fibromyalgia

For more information:

Go to the Arthritis and Rheumatism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University