Dryness, itchiness and stinging in the eyes and dry mouth with difficulty chewing and swallowing are common symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome, Medical News Today states. Patients often develop sensitivity to light or feel gravel-like irritation in their eyes. Swollen eyelids and mucous discharge are also symptoms.
Other oral symptoms include swollen salivary glands, hoarse speech, dry cough and progressive tooth decay, according to Medical News Today. Women may also suffer from vaginal dryness. As an autoimmune disease, Sjogren's syndrome causes the immune system's white blood cells to target healthy cells in the tear and salivary glands. When this abnormal reaction occurs in other parts of the body, patients may develop fatigue, joint pain and inflammation, muscle aches, and numbness in the limbs.
Rashes may form on the limbs if patients suffer from inflamed blood vessels, known as vasculitis, the American College of Rheumatology notes. Persistent dryness in the mouth and eyes also makes patients highly vulnerable to infections and other complications. For example, chronic dry mouth can lead to oral yeast infections, known as thrush, and inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis. Without ongoing preventative dental care, patients become more susceptible to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. While the condition has no known cure, many patients are able to manage symptoms without ever developing any serious complications.