Sjögren’s is a common autoimmune disease. It is a life-altering condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells and tissues. Patients often experience dry eyes, dry mouth, and fatigue but many symptoms can occur.
The Sjögren’s clinic at Berkeley Optometry is one of only a few clinics nationwide that offers a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with Sjögren’s. The focus is on the prevention of disease progression that can lead to organ damage.
As we are a multi-specialty, collaborative clinic, a broad spectrum of symptoms and signs can be evaluated efficiently. A diagnosis will be established and a road map for management shared with the individual’s treatment team. Patients will have the opportunity to be evaluated by experts in dry eye, dry mouth, and rheumatology on the same day. Click on an item below to read more about our services.
Previous laboratory tests. At a minimum, the results from the blood tests anti-SSA, antinuclear antibody, and rheumatoid factor should be available. Please also bring any information from previous eye exams, medical visits, or studies that could aid in consultation.
Please also fill out and bring in the Sjögren’s Medical History form.
Eyes will be evaluated by a board-certified optometrist, Nancy McNamara OD, PhD. Oral evaluations will be conducted by oral medicine specialist, Ava Wu, DDS. Patients will also be evaluated by Nancy Carteron, MD, a board-certified rheumatologist with specific expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Sjögren’s and associated autoimmune diseases.
Ocular Staining Score
Schirmer’s tear test
Autologous serum eye drops
Unstimulated whole salivary flow rate
Parotid flow rate
Labial salivary gland biopsy*
Small fiber nerve biopsy*
Salivary gland ultrasound
*May be provided at a separate facility.
Symptoms of Sjögren’s
The following symptoms are indicators of Sjögrens.
- Daily, persistent, troublesome dry eyes for more than 3 months
- Recurrent sensation of sand or gravel in the eyes
- Use of tear substitutes more than 3 times a day
- Daily feeling of dry mouth for more than 3 months
- Frequently drink liquids to aid in the swallowing of dry food
- Dental cavities
- Fevers, night sweats, swollen salivary glands and lymph nodes, joint pain, chronic cough, inflammation of lungs, nerves, blood vessels and bladder, and ovarian failure
- Lab tests with a positive anti-SSA/anti-SSB, low white blood cell count, elevated IgG, or monoclonal antibody
Because Sjögren’s affects numerous organs, it is important for patients to be evaluated by an eye care provider, oral medicine specialist, and rheumatologist.
Four million Americans affected by Sjögren’s.
Appointments can be made in person or by telephone.
UC Berkeley Optometry
200 Minor Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
Nancy McNamara, OD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Optometry