Sjogren's Syndrome versus Pink Eye?

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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 1/16/2008 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all.  I decided to ask this question here because many of you have sjogren's in addition to SLE.  My rheumy just dx me with sjogren's based on my symptoms alone (dry, painful eyes and 6 cavities within the past year).  He prescribed restasis and told me to follow up with an opthamologist.  I already have RA or UCTD, depending on how I feel on any given day.  I take plaquenil (although I'm slowly phasing this out), enbrel, and methotrexate.  Also, my mother had sjogren's in addition to MCTD, so it wouldn't be surprising if I did have it.  However, what if I simply had a pink eye infection?  In both conditions, your eyes are pink and irritated, right?  With me, my eyes get mostly red and inflamed around the inner corners, where some of my tear ducts are.  At least once a day, however, the whites of my eyes will get very red and inflamed.  How would you know the difference?  I have young children, so I certainly don't want to give them pink eye, even though if I have pink eye I probably caught it from one of them :) 
Also, rheumy told me to continue using artificial tears, but the brand I'm using doesn't do a heck of a lot.  I'm using the equate brand of artificial tears.  ARe artificial tears all created equal?  I saw something called genteals (or gentears?) at CVS.  It stated that it had all natural elements in it.  Does anyone know anything about this product?  does it work?  What do you use?  Doctor said restasis can take at least a month to actually improve my eyes.
thanks for any info.
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 1/16/2008 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Elcamino,

With pink eye, I believeyou would wake up with your eyes glued shut. There is quite a bit of wet "matter" that forms in your eyes . . . kind of ***** and overnight it dries and sticks to your eyelashes. It is also easily treatable with an OTC product called "Stye".

I'm sorry, I don't know much about the tear products . . . but many here know lots . . . so I'm sure they'll fill you in.

Sorry you are so dry . . . that is quite a problem.


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Barbara Lee
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Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 1/16/2008 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Elcamino:

Sorry that you're having difficulties with your eye. Rosie is correct when you've got pink eye, you produce a lot of wet matter kind of looks like snot in your eyes (sorry). Rosie is correct when you wake up in the morning you'll have to soak your eyes open. Pink eye is contagious so make sure you're the only one using the rags you use to bath your eyes. Also, with pink eye, your eye hurts and it feels like you've got sand in your eyes and they itch a lot.

Hope this information helps and I hope you start feeling better real soon.

dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, RA,MDS (Blood Cancer). Tons of meds.

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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Your rhuemy more than likely knows the difference between Pink Eye Infection and Sjogren's Irritation. I wouldn't worry about pink eye.

The OTC eye lubricants my rhuemy recommended for Sjogren's include: GenTel Lubricant Eye Gel and Alcon's Tears Naturale II Lubricant Eye Drops. Some prefer the gel, some the drops. I usually use the drops in the daytime and the gel as I goto bed.

You want something that says it's a lubricant, that does not contain preservatives, and is not to "correct red tired eyes" or for cleaning contacts.

Hope it clears up soon,

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Cellcept, Prednisone, Trazodone, Fosamax, Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS(4of11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 1/16/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the responses.  I guess my eyes would be pretty ugly if I had pink eye.  I'll check out the non-preservative products out there, including gentel and alcon.  I wasn't really doubting my rheumy--9 X out of 10 he's right.  I just thought it was weird that he dx me with something with no testing.  Of course, the file he has on me is pretty thick; I imagine he has all the data he needs.



Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex,Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan, zyrtec, zegerid, aciphex

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 1/16/2008 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I have seen alot of pink eye! (former school nurse) Pink eye also makes your eye extemely sensitive to light. It is painful. I think I would go with the rheumy's opinion. Just my humble opinion. Judy
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