Counseling patients with Sjögren’s syndrome critical
DESTIN, Fla. — An expert emphasized how important it is to counsel patients with Sjögren’s syndrome to reduce the occurrence of organ failure or adult failure to thrive, here at the Congress of Clinical Rheumatology.
“If we don’t advise our patients, if we are not cognizant of what can happen in these patients who complain of dry eye and dry mouth, they can go onto severe organ damage,” said Steven E. Carsons, MD, chief of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunolog, at NYU Winthrop Hospital. “That is, they can lose vision, or they can become edentulous and lose all their teeth.”
Carsons said edentulism “has significant affect on nutrition and can cause inanition, malnutrition and adult failure to thrive.”
Rheumatologists need to take time to counsel patients with Sjögren’s syndrome to be examined by an ophthalmologist every 6 months even if they do not have symptoms, he said.
Additionally, patients should use their eyedrops that are prescribed, for instance Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%). Emphasize that patients should use their eyedrops regardless of symptoms or lack of symptoms to prevent ocular damage, he said.
Patients with Sjögren’s syndrome should be examined by their dentist every 3 months and request a fluoride treatment regularly, as well as a prophylaxis cleaning.
“These steps can preserve and save your teeth,” Carsons said.
“Recognizing these manifestations and counseling your patients in a rheumatology setting is very important,” he said.
Healio Rheumatology also recently published Sjögren’s syndrome is linked to cardiovascular comorbidity. – by Joan-Marie Stiglich, ELS
Carsons J. Update on Sjögren’s syndrome. Presented at: Congress of Clinical Rheumatology; May 2-5, 2019; Destin, Fla.
Disclosure: Carsons reports he has received clinical research grants from Novartis and Roche.