51-year-old Sunita Jhadav, a Panvel localite, sold variety of fresh fishes all over Navi Mumbai. She was happy and quite a chatterbox too, so she would find regular customers in the train as well.
Over several weeks, she frequently used to experience irritation and painful burning feeling in her eyes. One of customers while buying fish from her, asked her about her eyes as it was visibly red. Sunita replied that she is feeling grittiness in her eyes along with dryness in nasal passages and throat. The customer compassionately told her to consult an eye specialist at Advanced Eye Hospital & Institute (AEHI) in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai. Sunita thanked in response and asked her to give the eye hospital’s address.
By the end of the week, she thought to herself that if she will delay paying attention to her eye condition, then it might just turn unbearable. So, she called AEHI and booked an appointment.
On the day of appointment, she underwent complete eye check-up. The visual acuity test confirmed that vision was of poor quality. She complained that she had irritable and gritty eyes. The Schirmer test score was 3 mm after 5 min for both eyes.
Schirmer’s test is a dry eye test where the moisture content in the eyes or production of tears is determined using special paper strips. Paper strip is inserted under the lower eye lid into the eyes. When the test result is normal- the filter paper shows more than 10 mm of moisture in 5 minutes. For Sunita, this reading was too less and was indicative of dry eyes.
Sunita was then referred to Dr. Vinayak Damgude, a Cornea and Cataract eye doctor at AEHI. Dr. Vinayak further evaluated her and found that she also had complaints of fatigue and sore joints and dry mouth.
Dr. Damgude diagnosed her with Sjögren’s syndrome; which is autoimmune eye disorder that affects many parts of the body. The key symptoms are dry eyes, dry mouth and throat along with nasal passage. Thus, there is decrease in the tears and saliva production and thereby creates difficulty in swallowing food. Hence, patients with Sjögren’s syndrome often also show swollen glands around the face and neck.
Dr. Damgude advised some blood tests to confirm the presence of any auto-immune disease. She was also advised to consult a Rheumatologist for a detailed systemic evaluation and treatment. He prescribed artificial tear eye drops, lubricating ointments and some anti-inflammatory eye drops to her. Further, he inserted a puntal plug in both her eyes which blocks the tear ducts and retain the tears in her eyes for longer periods.
Dr. Vinayak further cautioned her to keep herself hydrated and eat fresh clean food along with other eye care tips. He advised her to follow up after every month.
Sjögren’s syndrome is an auto-immune condition which affects the eyes and the mouth. It often also causes tooth decay and cavities. Irrespective of the climate, when someone experiences irritable and gritty eyes with dryness of mouth and nasal path, one must undergo an eye check up without much delay. Many eye problems can be controlled through early diagnosis and treatment with various eye care devices. For such dry eyes cases besides the eye drops and ointments many other options exist like punctal plug, corneal shields, contact lenses, humidity goggles, warm compress gels etc. They are advised depending on the type and severity of eye disease.
Dr. Vinayak A Damgude (MBBS, MS, Fellowship in Cornea) is a Cornea, Cataract Consultant and General Ophthalmologist at Advanced Eye Hospital near Vashi, Navi Mumbai. He is trained from the best institutions and has been performing cataract and cornea surgery for many years. Further, apart from his clinical skills, his patients connect with him in the first consultation itself, which speaks volumes about his polite nature. Over his extensive years of practice, he has successfully treated a variety of patients for Cornea Retrieval, Penetrating Keratoplasty, Sutureless Autograft Pterygium surgery, keratoconus, AMG graft and operated thousands of cataracts patients. Consult Dr. Vinayak A Damgude by booking an appointment.
About Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute:
Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute in Navi Mumbai is one of the best eye hospitals in Mumbai. Comprehensive eye check-up and the operation theatres are state-of-art and equipped with the best diagnostic and surgery machines. Personalised care, infection free modular operation theatres and beautiful ambience complement the cutting edge eye care offered at AEHI. Besides treating patients from Kharghar, Nerul, Vashi and Panvel, patients from all over western India travel to AEHI for world class eye care management.