The symptoms of Sjogren's vary from person to person but most experience dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, and aching joints. Sjogren's can also affect the skin, the digestive tract, ears, nasal passages and the vagina.
Dry eyes can cause redness, irritation, burning, a feeling like something is in the eye and may cause the eyes to be more sensitive to light. Vision may be affected by a blurring caused by a film over the eyes.
Dry mouth due to a lack of saliva can cause problems with swallowing, especially dry foods. Because saliva helps to protect the teeth, most Sjogren's patients experience problems with excessive cavities. Due to dryness you are thirsty quite often. You may experience the feeling of a lump in your throat. The tongue can also be affected causing it to be irritated and sensitive to certain foods, especially spicy ones. You may develop sores in the mouth and the corners of your mouth may crack. The glands around your mouth may become swollen and painful giving you a puffy appearance.
You may experience stiffness in the morning and joint pain. Usually the joint pain affects both sides of the body at the same time. It can cause swelling and the joints may feel warm. Usually the pain is intermittent.
Dryness in the nose can be irritating and cause numerous symptoms such as itchiness, stuffiness, nose bleeds and loss of smell.
You may have discomfort in your ears due to dryness. Temperature changes such as drafts can worsen the discomfort. You can also experience some loss of hearing.
Dryness can irritate the vocal chords, cause sore throats, hoarseness and congestion. You may also have a dry cough.
The lining on the stomach may become irritated from a lack of acid. You may have nausea or a burning pain from gastritis. You may experience diarrhea, gas, constipation, bladder symptoms and abdominal pain.
Due to problems with the glands that line the vagina, you may experience dryness and irritation which can cause painful intercourse and frequent infections.
The skin may be affected in many ways. You may have dry skin and scalp. Other common symptoms are lumps under the skin, rashes, discoloration under the skin, sores and bruising easily.
Fatigue is a very common symptom of Sjogren's. It can also affect the thyroid gland and the muscles. Sometimes the pancreas, liver, kidneys and blood vessels can also become inflamed.