Sjögren's Syndrome and dry eyes
In Sjögren's, a patient's white blood cells mistakenly invade the tear producing glands, causing inflammation. This inflammation reduces tear production, altering the continuous lubrication of the tear film, which may result in chronic dry eye and related symptoms.
Sjögren’s is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects the entire body. Its two most common symptoms are dry eyes and a dry mouth.
The age of onset and diagnosis for Sjögren's is typically in the 40s and predominantly women. Although, through increased education about Sjögren's, many patients are being diagnosed at a younger age.
In Sjögren's, a typical starting point for dry eye management is the use of lubricating eye drops for dry eye relief. Preferably, lubricating eye drops that are preservative free and phosphate free, especially for those applying multiple drops a day.
Staying on the safe side
Severe dryness of the cornea can result in inflammation and damage of the corneal cells. As with any injury, corneal cell damage should be carefully treated only with safe and optimal components.
For this reason, modern-day eye lubricants are preservative-free and phosphate-free, to avoid any complications and to promote the necessary conditions for healing.
Preservatives can damage the cells of the eye surface, destroy the natural tear film and be the cause of intolerance reactions.
Phosphates buffers can form insoluble crystals due to the reaction with calcium (which is released from damaged cells of the eye surface). These crystals can impair your vision.
Citrate vs. Phosphate
A safe and beneficial alternative to phosphate buffers is a citrate buffered system. Citrate, as opposed to phosphate, does NOT form insoluble crystals while still maintaining a tolerable pH level.
Apart from avoiding unwanted complications,
citrate buffers have been shown to have a positive effect on wound healing.